Merritt Eblen, 84, of Creston, died Monday November 7, 2016, at Homestead Assisted Living and Memory Care in Creston.
Celebration of Life services will be held at 6:30 p.m., Friday, November 11, at Powers Funeral Home in Creston. Pastor Mary O'Riley will officiate.
Burial will be Monday, November 14, at Iowa Veteran's Cemetery in Van Meter. Military honors will be conducted by Theodore J. Marten's VFW Post #1797 of Creston.
Open visitation will be from 2:00 – 6:30 with family receiving friends will be from 5:00 – 6:30 service time Friday at Powers Funeral Home in Creston.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Creston VFW or the Creston Animal Rescue Effort. Online condolences may be left at www.powersfh.com
Merritt Alvin Eblen was born on January 27, 1932 in Massena, Ia., a son to Charles "Dude" Eblen and Doris Mae (Maas) Eblen. Shortly after graduating from Richland High School, Merritt joined the Sea Bees Unit of the Navy and served in the French Morocco after his basic training. When he returned to the United States with one year left to serve, he was assigned to Kingsville Air Force Base in Kingsville, Texas.
While on interim leave in 1955, he married Norma Lou Pickrell in Fontanelle and after completing his military duty. They then settled in Creston where he established the Eblen Construction Company and several entrepreneurial ventures. After the birth of two children, the couple divorced and Merritt married Cheryl Lomika Eblen. This marriage also ended in divorce. Merritt officially retired in December of 2015 due to his failing health.
Merritt was a member of the Elks and Eagles Lodge both in Creston.
Merritt is survived by his son Michael (wife Karen) Eblen of Creston; daughter Mauxie (husband Pat) King of Creston; grandchildren, Alexie (husband Patrick) Bybee of Santa Barbara, Calif. and Sam Aleto of Iowa City; great-grandchild Sebastian Bybee; sisters-in-law Virginia Eblen of Creston and Juanita 'Jean' Eblen of Des Moines; nephew Denny Eblen of Des Moines and longtime girlfriend Phyllis Keller of Creston.
In addition to his parents, Merrit was preceded in death by his brothers, Donald and Delmar, sister Margaret Blazek, infant brother Charles, brother-in-law Charles Blazek and nephews Dallas Eblen, Ronnie Blazek and Roger Eblen.
LISTEN TO THE SERVICE AUDIO HERE: