Merl Stacy Swearingen, passed away on January 3, 2014 just a month shy of his 82nd birthday. Merl was the second born son to Jack and Elna Swearingen on February 11th 1932 in Drain, Oregon. Merl spent his childhood with his older brother Verl in Drain until his junior year of high school, when they moved to Redmond, Oregon. After graduating from high school, Merl moved back to Drain, Oregon to marry his high school sweetheart, Faye Overcash.
Merl and Faye married July 1951 in Redmond, OR. In 1953 Ricky Merl was born and in 1954, Ruth Arlene. Eight years later Amanda Gayle was born and died at birth. Wesley Wayne was born in 1964. Merl switched career paths and started working for the State of Oregon as a park ranger in 1965.
Merl advanced with the State of Oregon, receiving a promotion and was transferred to The Dalles, Oregon. With this relocation Merl developed the Deschutes River Park. After the completion of the park he began development on the Memaloose State Park. Then he moved on to the Oregon State Highway Department. He continued with this department until his retirement.
Merl and Faye’s family expanded. Ricky, married Elaine Jacobs and had a daughter Celina. Ruth, married Thomas Wilson and had a son Shawn and a daughter Rachel. Wesley, married Julie Kennedy and they had a son Colton and three daughters Ricki, Kennedy, and Jessi.
Merl lost his son Ricky in 1977 and wife Faye of 42 years in 1993, both to cancer. With the loss of a wife-mother-daughter, Merl fell in love with longtime family friend and married Sally Hickey the winter of 1994. Her sons, Frank Hickey and Robb Hickey adopted Merl into they’re growing families.
During Merl’s life he was an avid gardener, he enjoyed his church family, camping, and watching all of his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Merl continued impressing his family with his techy skills everyday by learning an iMac computer and an iPhone in his 80’s. You could always find Merl at sporting events, dance recitals, birthday parties, or wherever family and friends gathered.
Merl is survived by wife Sally, daugther Ruth (Tom) Wilson, Son Wesley (Julie) Swearingen, daughter-in-law Elaine Borntrager, and brother Verl Swearingen.
Merl’s grandchildren Shawn Wilson (Melissa), Rachel Wilson, Celina Miller (Lamont), Jake Borntrager (Mindy). Merl was excited when he became a great grandpa or as the kids refer to him as“great papa” with the addition of 7 girls: Madison, Kayley, Morgan, Tayla, Mia, Alexandra, and
Merl requested that anyone that knew him to call him “Dad”. He was a generous man and would be there for anyone that needed him. Services were held January 5th, 2014.
He always had the best hugs and will always be in all of our hearts
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