Robert Lyle Merkle

August 20, 1933 ~ September 5, 2020 (age 87)


Robert Lyle Merkle died Saturday, September 5, 2020 at Rose Arbor Hospice Residence. He was born August 20, 1933 in Kalamazoo, MI a son of Frank and Mary (Fellows) Merkle and had been a lifelong area resident. Bob was an inspiration to all he met. His entire life he battled the effects of polio after being afflicted with the disease at the age of 11 months. He would talk with anyone. More often than not the conversation involved ribbing, he especially enjoyed it when the barbs were returned. Bobber, as he was nicknamed by the childhood friends of his sons, never missed an opportunity to engage them in a discussion. He was equal parts persevering, supportive and strong willed. He retired from the purchasing department of Crown Vantage after 40+ years. His position provided lifelong friends and poker pals like "Big Joe", "Shorty" and Louie. Friends and family meant the world to him. On October 21, 1955, Robert married the former Shirley Simonds who preceded him in death in 1997. He was also preceded in death by his second wife, Lynne; parents; stepdaughter, Deborah Danger; and eight siblings, Carl, Fred, Howard, John, Don, Hattie, Leona, and Nellie. Robert is survived by two sons, Terry (Mary) Merkle and Tony Merkle; three grandsons, Tom (Tierney) Merkle, Dan (Taylor) Merkle and Andy (CJ) Merkle; one great-grandchild on the way; stepdaughters and sons-in law, Kim (David) Olson, Colleen (Steve) Bishop and Tom Danger; and several nieces and nephews. Private graveside services will be held in Mount Ever-Rest Memorial Park, South. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Rose Arbor Hospice Residence. Services entrusted to Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services, 622 S Burdick St, Kalamazoo, MI 49007. To view Robert's personalized web page, please visit

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Rose Arbor Hospice Residence
222 North Kalamazoo Mall Suite 100, Kalamazoo MI 49007
Tel: 2693450273

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