George A. Merkel
of Chelsea, Michigan, age 93, died Thursday, February 23, 2023, at Chelsea Retirement Community. George was born on June 6, 1929, to Joseph and Florence (Latreille Doll) Merkel in a farmhouse across from the present-day Chrysler Proving Ground. In 1948, he married Nancy Ellen Clark, and their union lasted for the next 62 years, until death separated George from the love of his life. Together, George and Nancy parented seven children.
George began life as a farm boy, but tried his hand at many occupations over the years. To support his large family, George hauled milk from farm to dairy, drove a semi, owned a service station, owned a bar, and eventually returned to farming, an occupation which he enthusiastically continued until a stroke forced him into retirement at the age of 88. Even after his debilitating stroke, George lived to farm again. Years after his stroke, although he was completely bed-bound, he spent his time dreaming of the crops he’d plant “next spring”. He was proud to be named as the Farmer of the Year at the Washtenaw County Agriculture Banquet in 2018. The same year, he received a Recognition Award from St. Louis Center.