Merlin F. Smidt, age 90, Overbrook, died November 30 2012. He was born May 31, 1922, in rural Marysville, Kansas, the son of Herman Smidt and Lola Gibson Smidt. He attended school in Oketa. He served his country during World War II in the United States Marine Corps attaining the rank of Platoon Sergeant. He served in the Corps from 1942 until his honorable discharge in 1945 receiving a Purple Heart with oak leaf cluster, and a Silver Star for Gallantry in action against enemy Japanese forces on Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands 11 May 1945. He saw action at various sites and islands including Pelelui and Okinawa. Merlin served in the 1st Marine Division Company B 1st Tank Battalion as a Tank Commander and was field promoted to 1st Lieutenant on more than one occasion until a replacement officer was available. He also received various other military medals and honors for his service in the South Pacific. After service in the Marines he returned home and moved to Topeka, where he eventually got a job at Goodyear where he worked for 33 years until retirement. He was a founding member of the Goodyear V.F.W. # 2187, and a current member of the Billard V.F.W. # 1650. He was also a member of the United Methodist Church of Overbrook. On June 2 1960, Merlin was united in marriage with, Velma L. (Rice), in San Antonio, Texas. She preceded him in death on January 11, 2007. Merlin is also preceded in death his parents, stepson David Robert Ogle in Vietnam in 1968; and a step daughter, Janice Hunt in 2000. He is survived by his son, Fredrick Merlin Smidt and his wife, Denise, of Keller, Texas; stepchildren, Lewis Ogle and his wife, Kathy, of Osage City, Benetta Bennett and her husband, David, of Scranton; sister, Ruth Keck of Marysville, Kansas; brother George Smidt of Fountain Valley, California; seven grandchildren; sixteen great-grandchildren; and 1 great-great-grandchild. Funeral services will be Tuesday, December 4, 2012, 11:00 am at United Methodist Church, Overbrook. Burial will follow at Valley Brook Cemetery. Mr. Smidt's family will meet with friends prior to the service Tuesday at the United Methodist Church, Overbrook at 10:00 a.m. The family suggests memorial contributions be made to Brookside Manor Retirement Community, c/o Greenwood-Roberts Funeral Home, 730 Western Heights Drive, Overbrook, Kansas 66524. Condolences may be sent to the family through www.lamb-roberts.com. Merlin F. Smidt
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Published in Topeka Capital-Journal on Dec. 3, 2012