age 71 of Prairie City, died at 10:04 am Tuesday, September 20, 2011 at Galesburg Cottage Hospital.
He was born on March 2, 1940 in Macomb, the son of LaVerne W. and Lorana R. (Chenoweth) Stoneking. He married Anita L. Yocum on April 14, 1958 at the Abingdon Christian Church.
Merle is survived by his loving wife of 53 years, Anita “Nita”; four sons, William Ray of Colorado, Dennie Joe of Mount Sterling, Troy LaVerne (and Annie Mahnesmith) of Wataga and Jeffrey Earl of Galesburg; two daughters, Sherry (and Wayne Jones) Eaton of Kewanee and Lori Grady of Galesburg; 13 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; his special niece and nephew Marge and Mike James of Prairie City; one sister, Bonnie (and Ed, Jr.) Schenck of Abingdon.
He was preceded in death by his parents, two infant sons, Randy L. Stoneking in 1961 and Tracy M. Stoneking in 1967, one brother, Lawrence W. Stoneking, and one grandson, Brian Mcmurl in 2000.
He had lived in Prairie City since 1981. He worked at the former Bixby-Zimmer Company in Galesburg for 30 years. His hobbies included being a tinkerer, a Mr. Fix-it guy, working on small motors, woodworking and of course his pride and joy was his yard pond.
Visitation will be held from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm Saturday, September 24, 2011 at the Hinchliff-Pearson-West Abingdon Chapel. Cremation will be accorded following the visitation with private burial of his ashes at a future date in the Abingdon Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to the Bushnell Flag Crew. Online condolences may be made at www.h-p-w.com.