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Merlyn Zipse, 78

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Merlyn Zipse, age 78, passed away unexpectedly Friday, Feb. 2, 2024, at his winter home in Dade City, Florida.

Graveside services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 1, 2024, at the New Hampton City Cemetery. A Celebration of Life will be from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 2 at the Chickasaw Event Center in New Hampton. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Trinity Lutheran Church.

Merlyn was born February 17, 1945 in New Hampton, the son of Fay and Evelyn (Drewelow) Zipse. He grew up on the family’s farm northeast of New Hampton, and graduated from New Hampton High School in 1963. He was baptized and confirmed at the Boyd Church and was currently a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in New Hampton.

On Dec. 26, 1964, he married his high school sweetheart and love of his life, Jeanne Berry. They eventually purchased the family farm from his mother and are currently proud residents of the century farm. They have enjoyed wintering in Florida for 27 years.

Merlyn had many occupations over the years — mechanic for Richard’s Implement in New Hampton and Ted’s Auto and Electric in Charles City, where he survived the tornado in 1968, New Hampton Municipal Light Plant operator, owner/operator of Merlyn’s DX and Merlyn’s Home & Recreation since 1974, and farmer.

Merlyn was a gifted conversationalist that made friends everywhere he went. He would introduce himself and become a friend within hours by asking questions, listening and really getting to know people. He was always up on current events, weather, grain markets, and full of ideas of how to fix things and solve problems. He could tell stories that made you feel like you were best friends with his friends, never having met them.

He was a fierce friend that created lifelong friendships. His hobbies included hunting, fishing, shooting trap, camping, snowmobiling, canoeing, water skiing, traveling or driving, cooking and grilling and talking to friends and family on his cell phone for hours. He always had two cell phones in his pocket. You never know which one will have better service.

Merlyn made many hunting trips out west with friends and family for deer, antelope and prairie dogs. He loved traveling to see the national parks and especially enjoyed family trips to Oregon, Alaska, Montana, Maine and South Dakota. Days spent guiding visits to local sites, parks, picnics, museums and concerts were his favorites.

He was a loyal husband and proud father and grandfather. He will be dearly missed by his family and friends.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Jeanne; children Lori (John) Sheehy of Mosinee, Wisconsin, and Jerry Zipse of Frederika; grandson, Cody (Jodi Meyer) Sheehy of Madison, Wisconsin; brother, Dennis (Marge) Zipse of New Hampton; sisters, Sue Zipse of West Union, and Julie (Bruce) Keller of Lakeland, Colorado; sisters-in-law, Donna Huffman, Waterloo, Janice Berry, Osage, and Pat Berry of Shellsburg; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; father and mother-in-law, Ray and Margaret Berry; and brothers-in-law, Mike Huffman and Ron Larsen.

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