“Rather than mourn the absence of the flame, let us celebrate how brightly it burned.”
It is with great sadness that we share news of the passing of our husband, father, grandfather, friend and all-around good guy, Merle Whitcher. Born on November 16, 1948, Merle passed away at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 22, 2018 at Condell Hospital in Libertyville, Illinois surrounded by his loving family following an accident in his home.
Merle retired from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railroad after a 41-year career. During his employment with BNSF, he and his wife, Peggy, lived and worked in Kansas City, Kansas; St. Charles, Illinois; and Flower Mound, Texas. The couple relocated to Cary, Illinois only six weeks ago following two years in San Diego, California.
Known for his inquisitive nature and gift of being handy, Merle was able to fix almost anything. He regularly helped family and friends with home remodeling and repair projects. In addition, he enjoyed getting to know everyone he met. Merle always had time for a good conversation and left you feeling better for having spent time with him.
A proud veteran, Merle served in the United States Army during the Vietnam conflict. During his distinguished military career, he earned numerous awards including a Bronze Star, two Purple Hearts, Combat Infantry Badge, and National Defense Service Medal to name just a few. In his last act of serving others, Merle was
able to realize his wish to help others through the Gift of Hope organ donation program. At least three lives will be saved and sight restored for another person.
Merle is survived by his wife of 47 years, Peggy Whitcher; daughter Jeniffer (Lance) Neuses of Cary, Illinois; and son Casey Whitcher of San Diego, California. He leaves behind his pride and joy grandchildren: Viviana, Daniel and Audrey Neuses and Chiara Whitcher. He is survived by his sisters, Betty Zotta, Peggy (Jerry) Norton, and Caroline (Larry) Hodson; and half-sister, Jane (Joe) Scepanski. He is also survived by his older brother, Terry (Diana) Whitcher; step brothers, Terry (Jo) Boggs, Larry (Rozalyn) Boggs and Jerry (Gloria) Botts, along
with numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his mother, Leona Frances (Bill) Priddy and his father, Boyd (step-mother Maxine) Whitcher.
If prayers, wishes and love could have healed Merle, he’d be in his garage building something right now. On behalf of Peggy, Jeniffer, Lance and Casey, we thank you for the support you’ve extended to the family since Merle’s accident on Friday morning. He received the very best care one could hope to receive; however, the injuries were just too severe for him to overcome.
The family will receive visitors from 6-9 p.m. on Friday, July 27 at the Davenport Funeral Home, 419 E. Terra Cotta Ave, Crystal Lake, IL 60014. Visitation will continue at the funeral home, beginning at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 28 until the time of the funeral service at 11:30 a.m. Interment will be private.
We are working on options for memorials to POW MIA related causes. For those who are able, blood donations in his honor are also appreciated as Merle regularly donated blood to help others. Should you need anything or wish to offer your assistance, we gratefully ask that you contact Teresa Burgin via FB messenger as she will be assisting the family over the next few days.