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Merle Baisle Mulder

"Old Man on a Moped" October 1917 - April 2013 Merle Baisle Mulder died peacefully from heart failure Friday, April 12, 2013, at his own home. As a farm boy born and raised in Princeton Minn., his youth was filled with many stories of adventures and free range life growing up on a farm. Merle built his own plane and became a farm pilot at an early age. In 1938, he rode train boxcars to Oregon with his buddies to work as a logger and decided the west is where he wanted to be. Merle joined the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1943 and became a B-29 pilot/navigator during World War II. Based on Tinian Island, his crew flew many missions throughout the Pacific Theater. After the great War, Merle returned to the states and was stationed at Davis Monthan AFB in Arizona, where he met his future wife, Maria Valencia, in the nearby town of Tucson. Upon retiring as a Lt. Col. in 1970 from the Air Force, he moved the family from their last military home of Ft. Mason in San Francisco to San Luis Obispo. Merle was a garage tinkerer of cars, Honda motorcycles, various scooters, mopeds, bicycles and anything else mechanical. His hobbies included surfing, u-control airplanes, civil war history, religious studies, philosophy, back-road motorcycle riding and the Sunday morning swapmeet. He never lost his ability to chat and gave everyone a listening ear and sage advice. Nobody was a stranger - everyone was a friend. Merle leaves behind his wife, Maria; two children Joan of Los Angeles and Bill of Santa Margarita; two grandchildren Lilianna and Amelia Mulder; as well as many people he touched during his 95.5 years on earth. His memorial, with honor guards, will be a private ceremony for family and close friends. A public tribute will be held on Memorial Day weekend. Please email j90027@gmail.com for details. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Merle's memory to the www.heart.org and the American Indian College Fund www.collegefund.org


Published in San Luis Obispo Tribune on Apr. 21, 2013
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