Nathan Melvin Merkel was born of German immigrant parents in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho on November 20, 1926. He died December 14, 2021.
Immediately following high school graduation at Yakima Valley Academy in Granger, Washington during World War II, he was drafted into the U. S. Army. He served in the medical corps with the 121st General Hospital during the occupation of Germany. He was honorably discharged as a Sergeant/Technician 4th Class in November 1956.
In September 1947, Merkel married Phyllis Hickman of Milton-Freewater, Oregon. In 1950, on graduating from Walla Walla College in College Place, Washington, he began what was to be 39 years of service In the Seventh-day Adventist church as a teacher, principal, pastor, mission president, and education superintendent.
Following his ordination to the ministry in the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1955, he served 16 years as a missionary in Bolivia and Ecuador in South America. His Master's degree from Walla Walla College and Educational Specialist degree from Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, California provided tools for the establishing of a secondary boarding school and college in Santo Domingo de los Colorados, Ecuador and for 14 years of administration of Seventh-day Adventist K-12 schools in the states of Texas, New Mexico, and Washington.
In 1989, Nathan retired and moved to Berrien Spring, Michigan. For a number of years he served as a contract teacher Andrews Academy and Ruth Murdoch Elementary School. He was a member of the Pioneer Memorial Church in Berrien Springs. In 2011, Nathan and Phyllis moved close to their son in California, then to Mississippi in 2018 to be close to their daughter. In 2019, the family made a move to Tennessee. He is a member of the Bowman Hills Seventh-Day Adventist Church.
Nathan Merkel is survived by his wife, Phyllis of 74 years; son Clifford, an orthopedic surgeon in California; daughter, Carol, a Clinical Trials Lea d, in Tennessee; 6 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will take place in April 2022.
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