Carl Zeller Merkey

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April 2, 2014

Carl Zeller Merkey, 96, passed away Wednesday at Sinking Spring ManorCare Health Services facility.

Born in Pine Grove, March 7, 1918, he was a son of the late David and Dora Zeller Merkey.

His wife, Claire Lengel Merkey, passed away in 2004. She was the daughter of Sallie and Clarence M. Lengel, Ravine.

Surviving are his son, Dale Merkey, Virginia Beach, Va.; grandchildren, Stacey, wife of Donald Roach, Virginia Beach, Va., and Douglas Merkey, St. Louis, Mo.; and two great-grandchildren, Katie and Mallory Roach.

Carl and Claire were the youngest and last surviving children in their respective families. Claire's family included Walter Lengel, Elva Lengel, Leah Schneck, Pearl Olt and Hilda Kleinfelter. Carl's family included Milton Merkey, Carrie Klopp, Paul Merkey and Mary Merkey.

After graduating from Pine Grove High School and serving in the Army National Guard, Carl transferred to the Army Air Force and was a World War II combat veteran from 1943 to 1945, serving with the 339th Air Service Squadron in the African-Italian Campaign. He earned several military awards including two stars for the critical Salerno and Monte-Cassino Monastery battles. After the war, Carl began a long, successful professional career that included private business and management positions in large public schools. In partnership with his father, he owned and operated the Bethel Transit Company, Bethel, and later opened the Tropical Treat ice cream business at the intersections of routes 501 and 78, Bethel, and then the Golly Farms restaurant, Lebanon.

In 1960, he became supervisor of transportation for the Wilson School District, Sinking Spring, and then Central Dauphin School District, Harrisburg, followed by Alfred I. DuPont and Claymont School Districts in Delaware. He successfully managed the challenges of the 1978-80 desegregation/school realignment challenges.

In 1982, he and his wife relocated to Pine Grove to begin their retirement years together.

Carl received many awards including three degrees and high professional honors from the National Safety Council. He also completed extensive programs at the University of Maryland, Delaware and Penn State, where he received certification in the state budget requirements.

He was a life member of Pine Grove VFW Post 3432, Foreign Service Club, American Legion Post 374, and Williamson Masonic Lodge, Womelsdorf.

As an active member of the Association of American Weather Observers, he received the 1988 Pennsylvania Observer of the Year award associated with the WHTM TV station, Harrisburg. He was also listed in the initial Marquis Who's Who Record of United States School District Officials, and a charger member of the National Association of School Bus Transportation.

A service of memories will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday at H.L. Snyder Funeral Home Inc., 139 S. Tulpehocken St., Pine Grove, with the Rev. Cynthia Kennett officiating, followed by a short interment service at Salem Reformed Church of Bethel Cemetery, Bethel. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Salem Reformed Church of Bethel, c/o Linda Bailey, 421 N. College St., Myerstown, PA 17067, where Carl and his wife, Claire, were longtime members.

Funeral Home
H L Snyder Funeral Home Inc
139 S Tulpehocken St
Pine Grove, PA 17963
(570) 345-2266
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Published in Republican & Herald on Apr. 8, 2014
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