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Melford Miles "Mel" Merryman was born February 8, 1929, in Amherst, Nebraska, and died September 5, 2013, in Forks.
Mel was born to Miles and Ruth Merryman, the youngest and only son of four children. Ladene, Gretchen and Helen were his older sisters.
The divorce of Mel's parents in 1935 left him the man of the house, and at age 6, he was hunting rabbits and pheasants for his mother and sisters.
From that point on, Mel continued to be an independent young man, always caring for himself and others.
Soon after completing the eighth grade, he joined the Army Transport and was stationed in Bethel, Alaska. After his service with the Army Transport, he joined the U.S. Air Force and was stationed in San Antonio, Texas, and later Chennault Air Force Base in Champaign, Illinois. He served as a mechanic on aircraft for three years.
In 1947, he met and married Evelyn Barrick. They had a son, Everett Eugene "Butch," and a daughter, Vera Jean "Jeannie."
After serving in the Air Force, Mel worked for General Motors for about 10 years and lived in several places until finally moving to Washington.
In 1962, he settled in the Hoko area and worked for ITT Rayonier for 22 years.
In 1984, Mel moved to Forks and married Sherry Barndt. With this marriage, he inherited four more daughters, Ladena, Tanya, Belinda and Charlene.
Mel retired from Rayonier and ran "Bambi's Weenie Wagon" for eight more years before fully retiring.
Mel had many interests over his lifetime, including hunting, music, clam digging, card games, bingo, travel and his grandchildren and canine companions.
Mel was a kind and loving son, husband, father, grandfather, father-in-law, brother, brother-in-law, uncle and friend. He will be greatly missed.
Preceding him in death were his parents, siblings, son, grandson Kyle Almond and granddaughter Chancely Yesiki.
He is survived by his wife, Sherry; daughter Jeannie (Jan) Braaton of Aberdeen, Washington, Ladena of Nevada, Tanya (Trent) Pankowski of Port Angeles, Belinda (Chanser) Yesiki of Wenatchee, Washington, and Charlene (John) Weston of Forks; 18 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; a brother-in-law; two sisters-in-law; many nephews, nieces and friends; as well as his best friend and dog, Peanut.
A memorial service and potluck gathering will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday, October 5, 2013, at the Forks Elks Lodge, 941 Merchants Road.
Published in The Peninsula Daily News on Sept. 22, 2013