Merle White

Merle Z. White, age 85, beloved husband and father, passed away peacefully on March 11, 2021. Merle was born in Howard SD on January 11, 1936 to Hugh and Leona.  They eventually moved to Madison, SD where he met and married Joan Erks.

Merle joined the National Guard in 1954. He proudly served 42 years and retired in 1996 in Rapid City.

Merle loved helping people whenever the opportunity arose. He was a proud man but very humble, kind, and considerate of others around him. His favorite hobbies were playing and watching baseball, golfing, woodworking and listening to all genres of music.

He enjoyed his family and friends and had many. Perhaps one of his greatest accomplishments was becoming the first South Dakota National Guardsman to be promoted to the highest rank (CW5) warrant office position. He was highly respected by his fellow soldiers.

He was a true leader and a great man who will be dearly missed yet forever remembered by his wife, children and grandchildren.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Joan Erks; his 3 children, David, Crystal (and Doyle) Barnes, and Tim; nine grandchildren; and a brother, Leland of Madison.

He was preceded in death by his dad, mom and brother Gene.

A Celebration of Life will be on Oct. 2, 2021 at 2:00 at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls, SD. Burial will be at a later date.

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