Merle Delmer

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Merle Wade Delmer was born on August 9, 1927 in Cisco, Texas. He passed away in San Antonio on July 6, 2013 with his family by his bedside. He was preceded in death by his parents Charles and Mary Delmer and sister Marian Nilson.

Merle attended Southern Methodist University where he was a member of Kappa Alpha fraternity and received his medical degree from the University of Texas-Southwestern Medical School.

After graduating from Abilene High School at age 16, Merle, inspired by the battles in the Pacific, enlisted in the Navy, first as a hospital apprentice after telling the recruiter he had always hoped to become a doctor, then a medical corpsman. He was offered the opportunity to take exams for the Naval Air Corp where he successfully completed his training to fly a Stearman N2S in the summer of 1945. As the war came to a close, the Navy did not need as many pilots but Merle chose to complete his two year commitment to his country.

Returning to his mother's home, now in New Mexico, Merle shortly landed a job with the New Mexico highway department where he worked his way up while still holding on to his dream of becoming a physician. The GI Bill enabled him to enroll in SMU as a pre-med student in 1948. After completing his degree while working numerous odd jobs, Merle was accepted into Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. After two years, he had to take time off from school to work "but something good happened, (he) met, fell in love and married a beautiful student nurse" (MWD). Mary Ann Jackson of Longview became his bride in May of 1953 after which he returned to finish his M.D.

As a Southwestern graduate, Merle was privileged to fall under the tutelage of Dr. Alvin Severance at Baptist Memorial Hospital Pathology Department. Dr. Severance taught Merle "pathology, patience, kindness, understanding and consideration of others" (MWD). Under this guidance Merle was urged to broaden his experience at a larger institution. Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City would fill this role and he quickly became an instructor at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. New York was incredible, but something more incredible brought the Delmers back to San Antonio and Severance and Associates. Robin, the first of their five children, was born in 1962 and precipitated the move to a more attractive place to raise children-one with a lot less concrete!

Merle doted on his children. From hunting in South Texas to many fishing trips to Blue Wing with his sons and daughters, he enjoyed spending time with them and gave selflessly of his time to be with them individually. He also enjoyed taking them to the family farm in Comfort and loved to lie on the ground outside in the pre-dawn to wait for and watch the deer with his daughters.

In addition to his most important treasure, his family, Merle loved the medical profession. He served for decades as the Chairman of the Board of Severance and Associates. The Texas Medical Association benefitted from his knowledge and hard work from 1968 to 1990, with him as Chairman of the Board of Trustees from 1984 to 1986 and receiving the Distinguished Service Award in 1990. The American Medical Association included Merle as a delegate and on various committees from 1971 until his retirement, including Chairmanship of the prestigious Council on Legislation. Merle was also active in the College of American Pathologists and the Texas Society of Pathologists from whom he received the Caldwell Award for Distinguished Service to Pathology. He served in several positions on the American Board of Pathology including Trustee, Treasurer, Vice-chairman, Chairman and President. The Golden Aesculapius Award from the Bexar County Medical Society, where he served on the Executive Board from 1969 to 1978 among other offices, was bestowed upon Merle as the highest honor recognizing a lifetime of distinguished service to patients and the profession of medicine.

Merle is survived by Mary Ann, his wife of 60 years, brother David Delmer of Colorado Springs, sons Robin Earl Delmer of Atlanta, Jonathan Wade Delmer and wife Jennifer and Samuel Scott Delmer and wife Jane of San Antonio and Merle Jackson Armstrong and wife, Susan of Colorado Springs, daughters Lisa Delmer McNeill and Susan Delmer Smith and husband Quentin, also of San Antonio. He is also survived by beloved grandchildren Koble, Weldon, and Cecilia Delmer, Shaw and Brynn McNeill, Sam, Caroline and Margo Delmer, Corbin Smith and Travis Armstrong and wife Christy and Ryan Armstrong and wife Melissa. The family would like to express their gratitude to his caregiver, Vanessa Mata, for all the loving care shown to Merle.

Serving as honorary pallbearers will be: Dr. A.O. Severance, Dr. Samuel Greer, Dr. John Smith, Dr. Perry Donop, Dr. John Boldt, Dr. Hugo Elmendorf, Edward E. DeWees, Dr. George Alexander, Dr. Oscar Abbott, Dr. Bill Hinchey, Dr. Dale Bennett and Dr. Bernard Palmer.

Thursday, July 11, 2013
5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
Sunset Funeral Home

Memorial Service
Friday, July 12, 2013
3:00 p.m.
Sunset Funeral Home Chapel

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Boysville of San Antonio, Sunshine Cottage, South Texas Blood and Tissue Center or a . To sign the online guestbook, go to

Published in Express-News from July 9 to July 10, 2013
Merle Wade Delmer,
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Arrangements under the direction of:
Sunset Funeral Home
1701 Austin Highway | San Antonio, TX 78218 | (210) 828-2811
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