Merlyn A. "Merl" Baxter, 94, of Sioux City, passed away Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019, at his home.
Services will be 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at St. Michael Catholic Church. The Rev. David Hemann will officiate. Private burial will be in St. Joseph Cemetery at Neptune, Iowa. Visitation with the family present will be 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, with a vigil service at 7 p.m., all at the church. Arrangements are under the direction of Meyer Brothers Colonial Chapel. Online condolences may be sent to www.meyerbroschapels.com.
Merl was born March 23, 1924, in Battle Creek, Iowa; he was the son of Allan and Christine (Peters) Baxter. Merl grew up in the Greenville area of Sioux City, and graduated from East High School. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps from June of 1942 until June of 1946 and participated in the Guadalcanal Campaign during World War II. Merl also served from 1950 to 1951 and also played baseball for the Marines.
On Oct. 20, 1947, Merl married Alta M. Sitzmann in Remsen, Iowa. They were married for 71 years, and Alta just passed away on Jan. 29, 2019, in Sioux City.
Merl was the general manager for the Ford Dealership in Sioux City, and then started Baxter Motor Company. In 1968, he established Baxter Mobile Homes and later owned and operated the Holiday Village Mobile Home Park for many years.
Merl was an active member of St. Michael Catholic Church and enjoyed traveling with Alta. He served on the Board of Trustees of Briar Cliff College for several years. Merl was a proud supporter of St. Michael Catholic Church, Briar Cliff College, Queen of Peace and the Clare House.
Merl and Alta had 10 children with eight surviving children; 18 surviving grandchildren; and 17 surviving great-grandchildren. Surviving children are Marlene Girard, Jody Watson (Tom), Sue Christenson (Bill), Robert Baxter (Maureen), Nancy Prince, Mike Baxter, Chuck Baxter (Liz) and Patrick Baxter.
Merl was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Alta; infant twins, Mary and Marie; a grandson, Nicholas M. Baxter, Machinist Mate First Class, USN; and one great-grandson, Alan Smith Nicholas.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Clare Guest House, 1918 Douglas St., Sioux City, IA 51104.