Lt.Col. Edward Mathias Merck of Jacksonville, AR, 1931 - 2022


LT. COL. EDWARD MATHIAS MERCK "EDDIE", passed peacefully at home on Dec. 27, 2022 with his loving grandson, James "Eddie" Fletcher and significant other, Marsha Lee, by his side. Edward was a proud USAF Veteran, an intellectual, loving husband, grandfather, uncle, brother, cousin, and friend.
Edward was born Oct. 19, 1931 in Humboldt, Minn. He graduated from Argyle High School in Argyle, Minn. on June 1949, and graduated from Moorhead State Teachers College in Moorhead, Minn. in 1954. He taught high school in Marietta, Minn. from 1954 to 1956. He joined the U.S. Air Force August 20, 1956 in Lockland AFB, Tex. and graduated the Aviation Cadet Navigator Training Program November 7, 1957 at Harlingen AFB, Tex. He went on to graduate from the University Of Colorado School Of Business in 1969. While in the USAF (1957‐1977), he stationed in various locations across the globe serving in the Korean & Vietnam Wars: Travis AFB, Calif., Yokota AFB, Japan, Boulder, Colo., Hampton, Va., Clark AFB, Republic of the Philippines, and LRAFB, Ark. Most notably, when stationed at Evreaux‐Fauville AFB, France he met his brilliant and exuberant wife of sixty years, Josephine, while she was teaching for the Department of Defense. They married June 15, 1962 Maxwell AFB, AL. They had one daughter, Connie Jo Merck (Parker). In 1977, he retired from the USAF. Edward and Jo remained in Jacksonville, Ark. from 1975 until their passing. When asked why he decided to remain in Arkansas, he simply replied, "I never found a reason to leave." After retirement, he worked in operations management, and later for the State of Arkansas from 1985, retiring in 1999 as a Management Project Analyst, Management Info Systems for Arkansas D.H.S. He continued to volunteer as webmaster for Genealogy, State, Veterans, & Non‐Profit groups/organizations. On June 13, 2014, he received the well‐deserved Governor's 2014 Arkansas Community Service Award presented by Governor Mike Beebe with many family members in attendance. Eddie was an avid tennis player, music lover, and great storyteller. He is preceded in death by wife, Josephine Merck; daughter, Connie Jo Parker; brothers, Anthony J. Merck, Lawrence M. Merck, and Leo J. Merck; sisters, Anna Marie Craik, Catherine L. Merck A.K.A. Sister Natalie Merck.
He is survived by his grandchildren, James "Eddie" Fletcher, and Scott (Mindy) Parker; great‐ grandchildren, Mary Josephine Fletcher, Hunter J Fletcher, Tyler Parker and Wyatt Parker; and great‐great‐granddaughter, Layla A. Fletcher. We are grateful for his nieces and nephews Tom, Loretta, Jean, and Margaret Danzl, Sister Anita (Mary Jean) Whalen, Dan and especially Anna Whalen, as well as Baptist Hospice, members of the Distinguished Flying Cross Society Ira Eaker Chapter, and a host of others for their loving kindness and support during this time.
Funeral service will be 9:30 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023 at Moore's Jacksonville Funeral Home. Graveside service will be 11 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023 at Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery with full military honors. Visitation will be the evening prior, 5-7 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023 at the funeral home.
The family suggests memorial donations in honor of Lt. Col. Edward M. Merck to Sisters of St. Benedict Foundation or the Disabled American Veterans.