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Merlin L. Reed


1920 - 2013 | Obituary Condolences
Merlin L. Reed Obituary
Lt. Col. Merlin L. Reed died Friday, June 21, 2013. Funeral: 11:30 a.m. Saturday, June 29, in Greenwood Funeral Home Garden Chapel. Interment: Greenwood Memorial Park. Memorials: Expressions of sympathy may be made to Disabled American Veterans, 431 Fulton St., Fort Worth, Texas 76104. Merlin was born Sept. 28, 1920, in Bertram, to Zachariah Walker Reed and Sarah "Sally" Caroline Wommack. Merlin grew up in Bertram on a small farm and later enjoyed sharing with his children and grandchildren stories of a life picking cotton for 1 cent a pound, working in the fields, and cutting wood by hand for $8 a cord. He graduated from Bertram High School in 1938 and married his high school sweetheart, Geraldine Hutto, on April 6, 1940, in Rockwall. For the first two years of their marriage, Merlin worked in Dallas, but with the outbreak of World War II, he joined thousands of other young men and enlisted in the Army Air Corps (U.S. Air Force) in 1942. Merlin graduated from Pilot School in December 1943 at Eagle Pass, and began a love of aviation and a career in the military that would last more than 27 years. Merlin served in a variety of roles and missions to include his initial assignment as a fighter pilot in the P-51 Mustang that he flew in England, France and Germany. Additionally, he piloted a C-54 over 100 round trips during the Berlin Airlift and often commented that they were the most harrowing flights in his career. After the death of his wife, Geraldine, in January 1991, Merlin moved to Air Force Village I in San Antonio, where he began a life filled with new friends and activities. He especially loved watching his Dallas Cowboys, visiting with his many friends at breakfast, and of course watching Fox News. Along with this happiness, Merlin also suffered the loss of Julia "Judy" Goerner, whom he married in November 1992 and who passed away in March 1996, and the loss of Jo Johnson, whom he married in August 1997 and who passed away in March 2002. Merlin was also preceded in death by his beloved grandson, Merlin L. Reed III, in January 1996, who had learned his own love of flying sitting next to his grandfather on many joyous flights at Meacham Field. Survivors: Merlin is survived by his wife of 10 years, Dorothy Reed of San Antonio; children, Merlin L. Reed Jr. of Simi Valley, Calif., Mary Wells of Plano, and Kathleen Baker of Angier, N.C.; and grandchildren, William Baker III, Christina Cottrell, Michael and Marshall Effertz, Michelle Reed, and Danielle and Richard Wells.
Published in Star-Telegram on June 26, 2013
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