Merle McKillip(1934 - 2013)

Merle Ralph McKillip

Merle, passed away on March 13,2013, at home in Sparks, Nevada at the age of 78, from complications of pancreatic cancer. Born August 6, 1934 in McCook, Nebraska to Ralph and Dorothy (Klocke) McKillip, Merle is the youngest of seven children. In 1936 when he was two years old, his parents packed up the sedan with Merle and his brothers and sisters, Darlene, Jerry, Lennie, Mary Lou, Donald and Frank and moved to Walla Walla, Washington to escape the Nebraska Dust Bowl. Merle graduated in 1953 from Walla Walla High School where he competed on the "Blue Devil" Football, Basketball and Baseball Sport teams and participated in Boys Glee Club, ROTC, W.W. Hi-Y and Legislative Assembly.

Following graduation, Merle enlisted in the United States Marine Corps June 1953, serving during the Korean War as Sergeant in the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines Radio Communications Company. While stationed in Japan, he backpacked the county giving him memories that lasted his lifetime. Merle was honorably discharged June 1957 and relocated to Reno, Nevada.

He was employed by Sierra Oxygen in September 1957 as a Driver-Salesman and retired from Liquid Air Inc. as District Sales Manager in February 1991 serving his clients for over 34 years. In 1958 he married Patricia M. Kelly and had three daughters from that union Kathleen, Diane and Linda and then later divorced. Merle remarried in June 1972 to Madaline Roseman where he and Madaline enjoyed life and traveled for 39 years until her death in March 2011.

Some of the most memorable places he traveled were to Washington D.C., Alaskan and Mexican Cruises and Santee Lakes, San Diego California. Merle enjoyed membership with the Sons of Italy Sparks Chapter, Sierra Silver Wheels and Silver Sage Sam's and held positions of Wagon Master, Vice-President and President along with being a Good Sam Club Life Member. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his sister, Mary Lou Beechinor and four brothers Gerald "Jerry", Leonard, Donald and Frank McKillip.

Merle is survived by his sister Darlene Chappell of Vancouver, Wash., three daughters, Kathleen (James) Johnson of Reno, NV, Diane McKillip (Marcus) and Linda (Jim) Long of Sparks, NV, four grandchildren, Tricia Chaloux, Jason and Brian Ford and Jake Johnson. Merle is also survived by Madaline's son Barry (Tova) Roseman of Reno, NV, daughter Ellen Roseman of San Anselmo, CA, three granddaughters, Victoria and Camilla Curtis and Tara (Armango) Garcia, great grandson, Adam Garcia and numerous nieces, nephews and many dear friends.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Veteran's Guest House, 880 Locust Street Reno, NV 89502. Inurnment to be held at the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery with a military funeral service with honors to be announced and conducted at a later date. We invite you to leave a condolence message in the "Book of Memories" at

Published in Reno Gazette-Journal from Mar. 20 to Mar. 24, 2013