Merle F. Kimmerly, Jr.
Bossier City, LA—Funeral services celebrating the life of Merle F. Kemmerly, Jr. 86, will be held 2:00pm Thursday, May 17, 2012, at Hillcrest Memorial Funeral Home, Haughton, LA. Visitation will be held from 12:00—2:00 prior to the funeral services. Interment will follow at Hill Crest Memorial Park. Officiating the services will be Bro. Billy Pierce. Merle passed away after a lengthy illness on Sunday, May 13th at Christus Schumpert Grace Home.
Merle was born July 9, 1925 in Crowley, LA to Merle and Carolyn Kemmerly. After growing up in Crowley and graduating from C. E. Byrd High School Merle moved and started his life in Bossier City where he played a pivotal role in establishing Bossier City's nightclub scene known as "The Bossier Strip". He built and operated some of the biggest and best known nightclubs on the strip starting with Kim's and ending with Sak's Whiskey A Go-Go. After many years in Bossier he moved his nightclub business to Shreveport where he proudly opened the dinner restaurant "The Sandpiper" and later changing it to the country and western giant "Cheyenne Lily's.
Merle's first love and passion in his life was the sport of Trapshooting where he excelled and earned multiple awards. He will always be remembered as "one of the most prominent Louisiana trap shooters of all time". His trapshooting accomplishments are impeccable, achieving flawless top rankings and numerous accolades in countless competitions such as Grand American, Louisiana State Shoot and Texas Open. Over a period of roughly 60 years merle Kemmerly concluded his trapshooting career as the first shooter elected to the Louisiana Trapshooting Hall of Fame in 1999 and inductions to the ArkLaTex Sportsman's Hall of Fame and the C. E. Byrd Hall of Fame in 2009. He was the first amateur to break 100 straight doubles at the Grand American. Merle was selected to three Trap and Field All-American Trap teams. He was named First Team All-American; Trap and Field All Around award and led the nation in High Average Doubles. Merle won the National Class C Doubles at the Grand American in 1947 the year that he took up the sport. He was the Runner-Up in the Dayton Homecoming after breaking the national record for 350 Straight Singles at the Grand American. Merle won eight state titles and also won state title in all of the events, State Singles, Doubles, Handicap and All-Around competitions at least twice. His proudest record was when he broke 498 out of 500 in a 500 bird marathon, missing the first bird. Merle maintained a 97% Singles average on 67,000 targets. He was loved and revered by his fellow members and friends at the Shreveport Gun Club and Red-Chute Gun Club. He will be missed by his many friends in the trapshooting sport where he is leaving behind a grand legacy filled with unparalleled firsts and accomplishments in the sport.
Merle was preceded in death by his parents, Merle Sr. and Carolyn, his wife Pauline Howell Kemmerly and the mother of his two daughters, Elizabeth June Collins.
He is survived by his brother Richard Kemmerly and wife Carol of Irving, TX; his sons: Merle "Tooke" Kemmerly, III and wife Nan of Atlanta, GA., Kim D. Kemmerly of Natchitoches, LA and two daughters: Melanie Ross and husband Bob of Bossier City, LA and Karlos Tuminello and husband Dominic of Harvey, LA. Mr. Kemmerly is also survived by his grand children: Scarlet, Brandy, Elizabeth, Kelcie and Loren along with numerous great grandchildren.
Honoring Merle as pallbearers will be William Cupples, Gerd Feierlein, Robert LaBorde, Corey Manning, Don Meyers, Jon Paul Rearick, Ray Waller and Loren Tuminello. Honorary pallbearers will be the members of the Red-Chute Gun Club.
The family would like to express their deepest appreciation to the caretakers at Christus Schumpert Grace Home for their devoted compassion to their father during his stay with them. The family would also like to thanks and gratitude to all of Merle's friends and neighbors from Debra Street.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Merle's name to Christus Schumpert Grace Home One St. Mary's Place Shreveport, LA 71101.
Words of comfort may be shared with the family by visiting www.hillcrestmemorialfh.com