of Chelsea, Michigan, age 93, died Thursday, February 23, 2023, at Chelsea Retirement Community. George was born on June 6, 1929, to Joseph and Florence (Latreille Doll) Merkel in a farmhouse across from the present-day Chrysler Proving Ground. In 1948, he married Nancy Ellen Clark, and their union lasted for the next 62 years, until death separated George from the love of his life. Together, George and Nancy parented seven children.

George began life as a farm boy, but tried his hand at many occupations over the years. To support his large family, George hauled milk from farm to dairy, drove a semi, owned a service station, owned a bar, and eventually returned to farming, an occupation which he enthusiastically continued until a stroke forced him into retirement at the age of 88. Even after his debilitating stroke, George lived to farm again. Years after his stroke, although he was completely bed-bound, he spent his time dreaming of the crops he’d plant “next spring”. He was proud to be named as the Farmer of the Year at the Washtenaw County Agriculture Banquet in 2018. The same year, he received a Recognition Award from St. Louis Center.

George served his township as a trustee, his county as a county commissioner, and his church as a member of the 3rd and 4th Degree Knights of Columbus, serving at one time as Grand Knight of his local council and also as State Master. George also loved to celebrate his German heritage as a member of the German Park and the GBU. He was an Ehrenmitglied of the Schwaben Verein in Ann Arbor.
His love of travel took him to Hawaii and Europe with Nancy, and later he enjoyed many trips to destinations in Europe, as well as the Holy Land and Canada.

George is survived by 6 children: Michael Merkel of Azalia, Linda (Walter) Hahn of Chelsea, Ann (Rodney) Salyer of Bark River, Beth (Craig) Corwin of Pinckney, Theresa (James) Tietjen of Waxhaw, NC, and Margaret (William) Stech of Chelsea; as well as 13 grandchildren; and several great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his beloved Nancy, his oldest daughter, Ellen (John) Hall; his parents; his brothers, Joseph, Thomas, and Mark; and one sister, Monica Gauthier.

George's family would like to express special thanks to his beloved caregivers, Frannie Franklin and Alan Laeder for going above and beyond to make his last years as comfortable as possible.

The Funeral Mass will be held Tuesday, February 28, 2023, 11:00 a.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church in Chelsea, with the V. Rev. Dr. William J. Canon Turner officiating. Burial will follow at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Chelsea. The family will receive friends at Cole Funeral Chapel in Chelsea, Monday, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. with a Vigil Service at 8:00 p.m. There will also be a visitation at the church Tuesday, at 10:00 a.m. Memorial contributions may be made to the St. Louis Center, the Humane Society of Huron Valley, or Arbor Hospice.


Click here to watch the video of George's Vigil Service (including K of C Chalice Service & Rosary)

Click here to view the video of George's funeral mass

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#5 Joanne&Vaughn Mills 2023-03-13 23:18
We are so very sorry for the loss of Mr. Merkel; he was a good man. We are sending our love and prayers to all of the Merkel family- God Bless.
#4 Laura Klee 2023-02-27 20:37
Beth, I’m so sorry for your dad’s passing. The “dad” stories you’ve shared with me gave me comfort in my dad’s aging. I wish you and your family peace and comfort in the full life he led, strength of family ties and joy in the memories you’ll always share. He is with the love of his life forever. Hugs, Laura Klee
#3 Barbara Krichbaum 2023-02-27 11:15
Thoughts and prayers to all
#2 Glo & Steve Feldkamp 2023-02-25 12:34
Our heartfelt condolences to George’s family. We know he is with his sweet wife Nancy and previous loved ones. George always had kind words and his warm smile always was genuine. Blessings to his family and dear friends, we he will be greatly missed.
#1 Mary T Trumbull 2023-02-23 19:46
George will be missed. Prayers are being said for his soul and the family.
sincerely, Teresa (Laier) and George Trumbull and familygky

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