Merl Davidson was born April 27, 1931 to Alan Walter and Myrtle Elmyra (Radcliff) Davidson in Holyoke, Colorado at the Susan Anthony Maternity Home, the youngest of four children. He went home to the farm in Lamar, Nebraska where he lived the majority of his life. He graduated from Phillips County High School with the class of 1949, and entered eternal life from his “town” home in Holyoke, July 2, 2020.
Merl married Joanna Lamborn in 1950 and to this union two daughters were born, Judith and Joyce. After this marriage ended, Merl married Mary Kay Easton in 1982.
Merl was preceded in death by his parents, his much loved daughter Judy, and his siblings:his sister Mary Myrtle Sprague and husband Kenneth, brother Wayne Davidson, sister-in-law Frances Davidson, and brother Glen Davidson and wife Lorraine.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Kay, daughter Joyce Terryberry, dear niece Jane Moreland and husband Michal, special friends Jerry and Kim Kingman and family and Terry and Lavonne Andersen as well as many other relatives and friends.
Merl grew up during the Dust Bowl and Great Depression Era and World II, so he learned early on the difference between a need and a want. As a result he developed an outstanding work ethic and was always on the lookout for ways to earn a few extra coins. While older brothers Wayne and Glen were off to war Merl became his father’s work partner, taking turns working the ground, tending cattle, milking, feeding chickens, and all the other chores that come with running a farm.
Merl always wanted to be a farmer but because the family didn’t have a lot of acres, and being the youngest, he had to find outside work. He began by hiring himself out to drive tractor for a neighbor and later was hired by the Sprague Brothers north of town. He and the other hands slept in the barn, showered outside, and ate meals sent down to the barn from the main house. He had good memories of this experience.
Each job he had added to his ever growing list of skills. He worked in a garage here in town and learned about the workings of an engine. He helped build four concrete elevators starting in Holyoke, then Haxtun, moving over to Grant, NE, and finally one in Kansas. He surprised his dad by pouring a concrete roof on the old pump house and it is still intact today. Merl volunteered to become a carpenter in order to get a raise of 10 cents an hour. All he had to do was get a tool belt and a hammer. An experienced carpenter from California took Merl under his wing and taught him the ins and outs of the trade and Merl was able to work building houses as a side job later in life. After the Kansas job, his dad offered him a bit of ground to farm and his dream became a reality. He couldn’t make a living with the little ground he got but he farmed and worked other jobs until he became a full time farmer.
Merl made a back hoe and a trencher and dug house wells and contracted with Highline for a while trenching for them. He never knew idle hands.
After his father died in the late 60s his mother traded the farm house for Merl’s house in Lamar and he set about gutting it, rewiring and plumbing and all the work that goes into flipping a house. He even talked to an old timer in Imperial who knew how to stucco and Merl went home and proceeded to stucco the old house. The stucco has not fallen off yet so he must have been listening. The electrical skills he learned while working on the house helped him to get an electrical license and he began wiring buildings and eventually Center Pivots. He was the first in the area to wire electricity of this strength and was in great demand for a time.
In the 70’s, Merl used his welding skills to make stall screens to sell to individuals at race tracks across the country. His brother Wayne ran horses so he was a great help getting Merl meetings with people who might want one or two. Thirty years later some of these screens were still in use.
Merl was a great problem solver and he never gave up until he found a solution. At one time he held two patents and had applied for a third only to find out he was beat out by less than 2 weeks.
Merl loved his community and was frequently called upon to be a pall bearer or to sing with a quartet for a funeral. He also was a whiz with a shovel and hand dug many a grave in the Lamar Cemetery. He served 15 years on the Amherst Elevator Board and was the President for some of those. He was baptized in the First Christian Christ in Lamar where he attended regularly and taught Sunday School for the older children for several years.
Merl developed an interest in photography and took several correspondence courses. He put in a dark room and learned how to hand develop his own prints.
He also humored Mary Kay and joined the Guys and Dolls Square Dance Club. They enjoyed traveling to various towns and states and dancing to the different callers. His dancing boots are here just in case he needs them to celebrate his homecoming. After retiring from farming he enjoyed putting his carpentry skills to use and made chests, bookcases, shelves, and desks. He donated some of these to the Pre School for the auction and to the hospital as well as giving them as gifts to family and friends. When his eyesight wasn’t as sharp as he felt he needed to work the power tools, he took up a new hobby—DRIVING. There are few roads in Northeast Colorado and Southwest Nebraska he didn’t drive on. Everyone watched for him as he took in the sights of God’s great creation. He loved the land, the crops, and the homesteads. He saw God’s handiwork in all the landscape. He hated when his driving days came to an end, but not to worry, he has his driver’s license with him just in case he gets to take a little drive along the streets of gold.
In closing, Merl asks: How many angels can fit in a Honda?
All of them…For it is written: “All my angels shall sing my praises in one ACCORD!
Merl’s listening to them now.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Merl Lee Davidson, please visit our floral store.