Merrill was born September 29, 1954, the oldest son of Josephine and Ernest Hoopes. He was a lifelong Southsider, graduating from Lincoln High School in 1972. After which he married Janis Powers in 1974. During this marriage, they had three boys: Ernest, Eric, and Eldon.
After 22 years of marriage they divorced. In 1997 Merrill then met and married Rochelle White. During which he took on the responsibility of raising two more boys, James and Michael. He always said he’s been raising kids his whole life. He spent his career working at Stevens Drywall for 42 years.
He enjoyed fishing and boating at Lake Rathbun and spending time working on projects with the boys. His common statement was, “Hey, I could use a hand when you have time!”
Merrill died November 18, 2020 at UnityPoint Iowa Methodist Medical Center.
Merrill is survived by his wife Rochelle; children: Ernest (Rachel), Eric (Misty), Eldon (Abby), James (Josi), and Michael (Jessica); seven grandchildren; mother, Josephine; siblings: Marlene (Steve) Parsons, Mike (Denise) Hoopes, Shelly (Kevin) Dingman, and Mark (Michelle) Hoopes; and many other friends and relatives.
Mass of Christian Burial will be at 2 p.m., Monday, November 23 at Christ the King Catholic Church, where final respects may be paid when entering the church. The use of masks and social distancing are required.