Merlin Dale Hehn
Merlin, 78, lost his battle with medical issues Thursday, July 24, 2014. He fought a hard battle for many years. Merlin was born in Scotland, South Dakota. Throughout his life, Merlin was an athlete, lettering in basketball, football and played on the Boston Red Sox farm league. He was often found running during lunch breaks on the campus of J.C.J.C.
His careers and opportunities took him to various parts of the world. He joined the military in 1954 serving his country until 1974. Merlin was involved in the fields of electronics and inertial guidance when those fields were at their mere infancy. He completed his service at Keesler AFB, teaching inertial guidance. Merlin was a veteran of the Vietnam War.
Following separation from the service he became an instructor at Jones Junior College where he served as chairman of the Technical Education Division and taught electronics. Merlin was named Mississippi's Outstanding Technical Educator of the Year 1981 at Mississippi State University and in 1982 he won the award as Outstanding Technical Instructor at the ATEA National Conference. Among his many accomplishments, he co-authored two text books in the area of electronics.
Merlin was an honor graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, receiving a BS in Industrial Technology, a MS in Industrial and Vocational Education; Ed.S in Education. He also holds an Air Force Master Instructor Certificate.
Merlin was an outstanding member of professional and service organizations. He was a member of Toastmasters International, Ellisville Rotary Club, VFW, and the American Legion. He was a devout member of Immaculate Conception Church serving proudly as Head Usher for many years.
Merlin was predeceased by his parents, Ruben and Lula Hehn and his sister Dian Hehn. Merlin leaves behind his beloved wife, Eloise (Ellie) Hehn. They were married in Sequin, Texas, and shared 57 wonderful years together. Merlin is also survived by his four daughters: Terry and Bill Livingston of San Antonio; Debbie and Steve Chisolm of Dallas; Betty and David Massey of Mobile; Lizzy and Gary Frier of Sarasota; seven grandchildren; ten great-grandchildren; a brother, Kenneth and Rosalie Hehn of San Angelo; a sister, Carol Hehn of Milwaukee; and several nephews and nieces.
Merlin quietly entered the lives of so many from all walks of life. Merlin was a loving, caring husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, but at his core he was a Teacher. Merlin's humor, compassion, and kindness will be missed.
His life was celebrated at Immaculate Conception in Laurel, July 28, and in San Antonia, July 31, with a military funeral and interment at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas, August 1.
Published in the Hattiesburg American on Aug. 31, 2014