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Bill Merkley

May 13, 1951 ~ June 12, 2022 (age 71)

Obituary

William Earl Merkley passed away on June 12, 2022, at the age of 71. After several years of declining health Bill passed peacefully with his loving wife Jo-Anne at his side.

 

Bill was born in Drumheller on May 13, 1951, to William George and Agnes May Merkley. There he spent his first 8 years until the family moved to Victoria Park in Calgary. He attended Victoria Park Elementary and Western High School until he joined the workforce at Indalex Aluminum, where he made some life-long friends whom he continued to stay in contact with up to his passing.

 

From a young age, Bill loved sports and had natural talent, especially in baseball. He spent many of his after-school hours playing or watching any game that was going on in the neighbourhood and was happy to run for the ball when older teams overthrew or hit a foul, just to be involved. He liked getting in the “hotbox” and was known for stealing bases. He loved Stampede Wrestling as a boy and spent many happy Saturday afternoons at the Corral watching the fights for the cost of a nickel.

 

Bill also loved children. From an early age he knew he wanted to be a dad. His wish came true after marrying Jo-Anne Lyons in Calgary on June 25, 1977.  They went on to have 4 children.  Moving to Creston in 1978, Bill became employed at Wynndel Box and Lumber until his retirement.  Throughout these years he continued playing ball until trading in playing for coaching Little League, taking his team, the Creston Maroons, to the provincial playoffs and to working with youth through local churches.  His passion of sports and play was infectious and lives on in his children and grandchildren.

 

Bill was a great dancer and could cut a rug with the best of them.  He also had a tremendous sense of humor, which could be inspired to show up at any time.  It was a natural gift.  He was witty, could tell a great joke and could make you laugh even in the hardest times.

 

He was a family man who believed in investing time and love into his and all children.  He showed this be dedicating countless hours, which eventually turned into years, to many youth near and far.  He believed all kids have value and they all knew they had it when he was around.

 

Bill was predeceased by his parents, his sisters Loree and Lynda, his nephew Willie and niece Tracie.  He is survived by wife Jo-Anne, son Billy, daughters Rebecca, Amanda, and Jennifer, son-in-law Bryan, grandsons Kaine and Logan, granddaughters Teaghan and Maddie, brother Andy, and many nieces and nephews and their families.  He will be sadly missed and affectionately remembered.

 

The date and time for Bill’s celebration of Life will be announced in the coming weeks.

 

Anyone wishing to honor Bill’s lifelong commitment to family, community and children may do so by making a donation to the

Creston Valley Little League Association

 515 6th Avenue S., Creston, B.C., V0B 1G3.

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