Merle George Ober of Conway was born May 29, 1926 and passed into eternity to be with his Savior on May 12, 2013. He is now joyfully reunited with his wife of almost 60 years, Catharine Ray McClain Ober.
Merle was the youngest of five children born to Ray Henry Ober and Mary Katherine Detwiler Ober in the town of Youngwood, Pennsylvania.
Merle was active in church, playing the trumpet during the services, a Boy Scout, played football and was a lover of dogs and walking in nature even in his youth. He was an apprentice at Robertshaw Thermostat Company, was a soda jerk at Miller Drug Store and also helped Mr. Miller on his silver fox farm, caring for the animals.
Always very patriotic and eager to serve his country, Merle enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps when he was 17, and served as a forward observer in the South Pacific arena and in Occupied Japan during World War II. Upon returning to the states, Merle completed his senior year of high school at Kiski Prep School in Saltsburg, PA and then attended Purdue University earning a bachelor of science in Forestry.
Always a gentleman, it was on a crowded bus that he playfully offered a seat....on his lap....to a beautiful girl he had met once before at a friend's home. Much to his surprise, Catharine McClain took him up on his offer, and the rest is history. Their relationship developed through many, many letters while both were in college. They were married on August 30th of that year following graduation.
The young couple moved to the coal mining town of Red Jacket, West Virginia where Merle worked as a forester. Merle and Cathy returned to Pennsylvania when they began their family which grew to two daughters. Merle took his role as provider for his family very seriously....his "harem", as he called them, and the remainder of Merle's career was in the marketing/sales of forest products. His expertise took the family to Pennsylvania (Masonite), Oregon (Georgia Pacific), Arkansas (International Paper), and finally Texas (Louisiana Pacific).
Merle demonstrated his faith throughout his life by "loving thy neighbor as thyself", always seeking to brighten everyone's day and helping others in need. Always an avid walker, he took daily strolls around their neighborhood with their dog, Lady, visiting neighbors. Merle was chosen to be a participant in the first Lone Star Honor Flight of WWII veterans to the nation's capital. In 2012, Merle returned to Arkansas to reside at Southridge Village in Conway and grew to love his new community.
Merle was preceded in death by his wife of almost 60 years, his parents, brothers, Warren and Wendell, sister, Leora, and very recently, by his constant canine companion, Lady. He is survived by daughters, Christine (Robert) Bridwell of Conway, AR, and Kim (John) Ross of Conroe, TX, five grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister, Reba Young of Greensburg, PA and many nieces, nephews, and many friends.
Chris and Kim would like to express heartfelt gratitude to the loving caregivers who supported Daddy and our family at Southridge Village, Odyssey Hospice and Salem Place.