VerNon Lyle Merkley

09/01/1942 — 11/15/2014

From Richland, WA | Born in Pocatello, ID

VerNon Lyle Merkley

VerNon Lyle Merkley, born September 1, 1942 in Pocatello, ID to Theris Lyle and Verda Warren Merkley died Sat. Nov. 15, 2014 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s and heart disease.

                VerNon spent his younger years in Idaho where he loved playing with his brother Lamoin and best friend, cousin Dennis Warren. His family moved to Moses Lake, WA when he was 12. Always an athlete, he played baseball, football, basketball and participated in track, but wrestling was where he excelled.  He earned the most athletic student award his senior year and placed first at State in wrestling.  He went on to play football at Ricks College as well as wrestling there.  At the end of his freshmen year, he went on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to North Carolina and Virginia for two years.  He then attended CWSC and met his sweetheart, Susan. He married her in the Idaho Falls LDS temple, 14 June 1966. After graduating from Central he earned a Master’s degree in Physical ED.  He also wrestled for three years and placed 6th at nationals his senior year. 

                Four years in the Air Force followed in Mississippi, where he advanced in rank to Captain.  After the Air Force, he moved his family to Juneau, Alaska and taught P.E. and coached wrestling for two years.  He returned to Washington to take a position at Richland High School as a wrestling coach and counselor.  He earned a second master’s degree in counseling. He coached wrestling for 12 years and spent 33 years as a counselor.  He was a force for good in the lives of thousands of teens and young adults.

               He held many leadership positions in the LDS church, and loved working with youth and being a temple worker in the Columbia River Washington Temple.

                His greatest joy was his family. He loved attending the sporting events, concerts, and plays his children and grandchildren participated in. He loved traveling around the country and family vacations to visit family.

                      He was preceeded in death by his parents. VerNon is  survived by his wife of 48 years, Susan Goodey Merkley,  his children, Raquel (David) Volmer,  West Richland, WA, Jalene (Scott) Wangsgaard, Lance (Jennifer) Merkley, Angela (Eric) Horne all of Richland, WA.  Siska (Brad) Giles American Fork, UT.,  Geneil (Mitch) Oviatt, Stirling, Alberta, Canada,  Todd (Jessica) Richland, WA., Kaylene (David) Palmer, Renton, WA.,  Kyle (Stacy) Willard, MO.,  38 grandchildren , 4 great-grandchildren and 3 grandsons-in-law, his brother Lamoin Merkley and sisters Leota Kirry , Valeta Dye,  Verla Walters,  and LuDene Malcom, and numerous nieces and nephews.

               The family thanks the aids, nurses, cooks, maintenance workers and residents at Guardian Angel Homes for their kindness and tender loving care.  Also, thanks to everyone from Tri-City Chaplaincy Hospice for everything they did to help ease his way into the arms of his Heavenly Father.  In lieu of flowers, you may consider a donation to the mission fund of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in his name or to Tri-City Chaplaincy Hospice.  

A Viewing will be held Fri, Nov 21, 2014 from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. at Sunset Memorial Gardens Event Center in Richland, WA.

Funeral Services will be Sat. Nov. 22, 10:30 a.m. at the LDS Church, 1720 Thayer Drive, Richland, WA. 

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VerNon Lyle Merkley

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  • Fair winds and following seas to my MLHS ’60 classmate. Condolences to his family.

    Richard Lewis
    November 19, 2014
    Pullman, WA
  • We are truly saddened to hear that our dear friend Vernon has passed away. Please know that his family members will be in our prayers. May the Lord bless you all with peace and comfort at this time.
    Love,
    Ken & Buelah Bohne

    Kenneth L. Bohne
    November 19, 2014
    Moses Lake, WA
  • My heart goes out to Mr. Merkley’s family. Having taught all of his children and some of his grandchildren, I know what an outstanding group of people they are and how they will miss him. His legacy speaks volumes in the quality of the people he leaves behind.

    Maribeth Weide Smith
    November 19, 2014
    Carmichael Middle School Richland, WA
  • We are so sorry to hear of your loss. We have such wonderful memories of VerNon and his many talents. He was a very special man and what a legacy he has left his family. Please know that our love and prayers are with you and your family, Susan. May you find peace and comfort in knowing that one day you will be with him.
    Jim and Carol

    Jim and Carol Adamson
    November 19, 2014
    E. Wenatchee, WA
  • Our thoughts and prayers are with you Susan and your family at this time…Vernon was a very talented guy and showed what a great leader should be to many kids of RHS. You could always count on him 🙂 Fun times at the Merkley reunions!
    Families are FOREVER! We love you Merkley family 🙂

    Jake & Kyra Stolworthy & Family
    November 19, 2014
    Spokane, WA
  • Mr. Merkley was my counselor all through high school, and his children have been my friends since I was very young. He was a loving, humble, generous, and kind man, and I am a better person for having known him. My love and prayers are with his family as we mourn this loss.

    Andrea Pratt Rediske
    November 20, 2014
    Maitland, FL
  • The greatest lesson that I learned from Brother Merkley was the importance of supporting and standing by family. The Merkley clan always had the biggest and best cheering section of any family that I knew! The whole family was at everything to support one another. I pray that the Lord’s spirit will be poured out upon all of you during this challenging time and that you will support one another as Brother Merkley taught his whole life! One day you will have the most joyous reunion!

    Cindy Tingey Glade
    November 22, 2014
    Kennewick, Wa
  • I had the great privilege of marrying into the Merkley clan. The thing that I’ll always remember was how loving and welcoming Uncle Vernon always was. I always felt at home whenever we visited. Truly, a man of God has returned home. My heart is sad at this temporary loss but joys in the future reunion. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of his loved ones that mourn at this time.

    Seth King
    November 20, 2014
    Boise, Idaho, USA
  • We will miss Vernon but he is never really gone. He is just with another part of our family who are rejoicing and once again holding him in their arms and of knowing he faithfully completed the journey and free from the pain and struggling mortal trials. We wish the family and friends peace from sorrow and the sweet knowledge of the Eternal plan. Thank You for letting us be a part of your lives. Kent and Virginia Warren

    Kent and Viginia Warren
    November 21, 2014
    Bountiful, Utah
  • My deepest sympathy to the entire family

    Pam Washburn Tea
    November 21, 2014
    Moses Lake, Wa 98837
  • Mr. Merkley touched so many. He was my high school counselor at Richland High 1998-2002. He was also a family friend to Robert and Peg Mason, my grandparents and their sons and daughter, Gary Mason, Lew Mason, Don Mason, and Marie Mason Tardiff in wrestling. To the family so sorry for your loss, he will be missed.

    Adam Tardiff
    November 24, 2014
    Boise, ID
  • Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you celebrate the life of Vernon. We were in classes together at MLHS and he was always a good friend to everyone. Paul and I remember him with much fondness. May God give you peace and comfort and all the great times sustain you in this time of temporary separation.
    In Christ,
    Paul and Marian Piersall

    Marian Sue Dilbeck Piersall
    November 19, 2014
    Abilene, Texas
  • Fair winds and following seas to my MLHS ’60 classmate. Condolences to his family.

    Richard Lewis
    November 19, 2014
    Pullman, WA
  • We are truly saddened to hear that our dear friend Vernon has passed away. Please know that his family members will be in our prayers. May the Lord bless you all with peace and comfort at this time.
    Love,
    Ken & Buelah Bohne

    Kenneth L. Bohne
    November 19, 2014
    Moses Lake, WA
  • My heart goes out to Mr. Merkley’s family. Having taught all of his children and some of his grandchildren, I know what an outstanding group of people they are and how they will miss him. His legacy speaks volumes in the quality of the people he leaves behind.

    Maribeth Weide Smith
    November 19, 2014
    Carmichael Middle School Richland, WA
  • We are so sorry to hear of your loss. We have such wonderful memories of VerNon and his many talents. He was a very special man and what a legacy he has left his family. Please know that our love and prayers are with you and your family, Susan. May you find peace and comfort in knowing that one day you will be with him.
    Jim and Carol

    Jim and Carol Adamson
    November 19, 2014
    E. Wenatchee, WA
  • Our thoughts and prayers are with you Susan and your family at this time…Vernon was a very talented guy and showed what a great leader should be to many kids of RHS. You could always count on him 🙂 Fun times at the Merkley reunions!
    Families are FOREVER! We love you Merkley family 🙂

    Jake & Kyra Stolworthy & Family
    November 19, 2014
    Spokane, WA
  • Mr. Merkley was my counselor all through high school, and his children have been my friends since I was very young. He was a loving, humble, generous, and kind man, and I am a better person for having known him. My love and prayers are with his family as we mourn this loss.

    Andrea Pratt Rediske
    November 20, 2014
    Maitland, FL
  • The greatest lesson that I learned from Brother Merkley was the importance of supporting and standing by family. The Merkley clan always had the biggest and best cheering section of any family that I knew! The whole family was at everything to support one another. I pray that the Lord’s spirit will be poured out upon all of you during this challenging time and that you will support one another as Brother Merkley taught his whole life! One day you will have the most joyous reunion!

    Cindy Tingey Glade
    November 22, 2014
    Kennewick, Wa
  • I had the great privilege of marrying into the Merkley clan. The thing that I’ll always remember was how loving and welcoming Uncle Vernon always was. I always felt at home whenever we visited. Truly, a man of God has returned home. My heart is sad at this temporary loss but joys in the future reunion. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of his loved ones that mourn at this time.

    Seth King
    November 20, 2014
    Boise, Idaho, USA
  • We will miss Vernon but he is never really gone. He is just with another part of our family who are rejoicing and once again holding him in their arms and of knowing he faithfully completed the journey and free from the pain and struggling mortal trials. We wish the family and friends peace from sorrow and the sweet knowledge of the Eternal plan. Thank You for letting us be a part of your lives. Kent and Virginia Warren

    Kent and Viginia Warren
    November 21, 2014
    Bountiful, Utah
  • My deepest sympathy to the entire family

    Pam Washburn Tea
    November 21, 2014
    Moses Lake, Wa 98837
  • Mr. Merkley touched so many. He was my high school counselor at Richland High 1998-2002. He was also a family friend to Robert and Peg Mason, my grandparents and their sons and daughter, Gary Mason, Lew Mason, Don Mason, and Marie Mason Tardiff in wrestling. To the family so sorry for your loss, he will be missed.

    Adam Tardiff
    November 24, 2014
    Boise, ID
  • Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you celebrate the life of Vernon. We were in classes together at MLHS and he was always a good friend to everyone. Paul and I remember him with much fondness. May God give you peace and comfort and all the great times sustain you in this time of temporary separation.
    In Christ,
    Paul and Marian Piersall

    Marian Sue Dilbeck Piersall
    November 19, 2014
    Abilene, Texas
  • Mr. Merkley will be missed by so many. Prayers to all his family and friends. R.I.P. Mr. Merkely.

    Gauin Moore
    November 23, 2014
    Seattle, WA
  • My thoughts and condolences to the family. I was in his class in high school and shared several classes with Vernon. Blessings to you.

    Charlotte (Walker) Maletz
    November 18, 2014
    Long Beach, CA
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