Merle Marlette was born on September 20, 1933 on the family farm near Currie, to Guy and Martha (Vahlsing) Marlette. He grew up on the farm until 1945 when he went to work as a hired man for an area farmer. Merle graduated from Tracy High School in 1951. Following graduation Merle enlisted in the United States Navy and was stationed in Great Lakes, IL.
On December 17, 1960 he and Constance (Connie) Jensen were married in Great Lakes. Following their marriage they remained in Great Lakes until 1963 when they moved to San Diego, CA. In 1970 they moved to Guam and in 1974 they moved to San Pedro, CA where Merle retired from the Navy after 23 years of service. They then moved to Walnut Groves until 1977 when they moved to a farm near Hanley Falls, where Merle drove truck.
In 2001 Merle retired and they moved to Lake Norden, SD. In 2010 they moved to Hayti, SD. In 2015 Merle moved to Golden Living Center in Milbank, SD. In June of 2018 due to failing health Merle moved to Arlington Care and Rehabilitation Center in Arlington, SD where he passed away on September 7, 2018 at the age of 84. Merle was a member of the Watertown VFW Post #750, Watertown American Legion Post #17, the DAV (Disabled American Veterans) and the Vietnam Veterans of America South Dakota Chapter 1054.
Merle enjoyed spending time with family and reminiscing about favorite past times, fishing, boating, hunting, reading westerns, diving and collecting shells. Survivors include his wife, Connie Marlette of Hayti, SD, three children and their spouses, Greg and Connie Marlette of Hanley Falls, Pam Synhorst and Rick Byrne of Cottonwood, and Teresa (Terri) and Lonnie Roepke of Cottonwood; Five grandchildren: Dustin and Amanda Marlette, Shane and Amanda Specht, Miranda and Marques Korpela, Melissa Johnston and Robert Johnston; six great grandchildren; two sisters, Lucille Bruns of St. Peter and Lois Osborn of Madelia; and many nieces and nephews and their families. He is preceded in death by his parents, one sister and her husband, Lorraine and Nelder Gifferson, three brothers and their spouses, Ike and Beth Marlette, Pete and Doris Marlette and Doran and Viola Marlette and two brothers-in-law, Walt Osborn and Dick Bruns.
Memorial Services were held in Currie Presbyterian Church in Currie, on Saturday, September 15 at 10:30 a.m. with Dave Erickson officiating. The organists were Wendy Steffen and Deb Bassett with special music by Ellen Lenz. The honorary pallbearers are his grandchildren. Interment was at Slayton Memorial Gardens in Slayton. Military honors accorded by the Slayton American Legion Post and the Slayton VFW Post. Visitation was e one hour prior to the services at the church on Saturday. Totzke funeral Home of Slayton is entrusted with arrangements. To view online obituary and send condolences visit totzkefuneralhome.com