Merlyn Paul Smith, 92, of Pender, NE, passed away on Monday, December 27, 2021, at the Pender Community Hospital in Pender. The visitation will be held on Wednesday, December 29, 2021, from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Munderloh-Smith Funeral Home in Pender. The funeral service will be on Thursday, December 30, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Pender. Burial with Military Honors will be in St. Mark's Lutheran Church Cemetery in rural Pender. Memorials are suggested to the family for future designation. Arrangements are under the direction of Munderloh-Smith Funeral Home in Pender.
Merlyn was born on August 1, 1929, to John H. and Catherine (Simonsen) Smith on the family farm south of Pender. He was baptized and confirmed at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Pender. Merlyn graduated from District 53 Country School then attended Pender Public School and graduated in 1946. He was active in sports including baseball, football, and basketball. After graduation, he farmed with his father on the family farm. On August 6, 1950, Merlyn married Leona (Fredericksen) at the Presbyterian Church in Pender. He was drafted into the US Army, and he served with the 24th Infantry Division in Japan during the Korean War. Upon his return from his tour of duty, he started farming again. Merlyn partnered with Harold Rink and operated Rink Enterprises, together the two manufactured many farming innovations. Leona passed away in 1988. On July 30, 1998, Merlyn married Geraldine Trimble in Sioux City, IA. Merlyn was a lifelong farmer and helped with harvest this year.
Merlyn served on St. Mark’s Lutheran Church council. He was a member of the Pender American Legion and Pender VFW. He enjoyed golfing and boating with his friends and family. Merlyn loved spending time with his family and always wanted to give a hug before leaving.
Merlyn is survived by his wife, Geraldine Trimble of Pender; sons, John (Chihiro) Smith of Pender, James (Tasha) Smith of Miramar Beach, FL; daughter, Jan (Gregg) Roberts of Lincoln, NE; sister, Donna (Bruce) Miller of Las Vegas, NV; brother, Layton (Fawn) Smith of Pender; and well over fifty grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Merlyn is preceded in death by his parents; wife, Leona; infant daughter JoAnn Smith.