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Merlin had a glorious reunion early Thanksgiving morning with loved ones on the other side as he graduated from this mortal life.
Merlin W. Ward, 84, died on November 23, 2023, in Clinton, Utah. He was born in Preston, ID, on January 7, 1939, to Hyrum J. and Zaetell Westover Ward. He was raised in a rural area in Clifton, ID, where he and his six siblings enjoyed fishing, hunting, and finding adventure. As the youngest of four boys, he learned early on about the importance of having a good work ethic and trusting his faith, as his father left on a mission to England, and he and his siblings, along with his mother, were left to take care of the family farm. In 1957, he graduated from West Side High School.
He served a 2-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to the Eastern States. He always proclaimed loudly to his grandchildren that his mission was the greatest of all! After returning from his mission, his sister, Carol, set him up on a date with her beautiful friend, Helen Harris, and the rest is history. On March 30, 1962, they married in the Logan Temple.
Merlin had a stellar career as a general foreman for over 39 years at Cache Valley Electric (CVE). Because of his ingenious thinking and innovative money-saving solutions, he was often called MacGyver. Oh, how we will miss his contraptions and ability to improve things. Merlin’s second family was the Cache Valley Electric (CVE) community he proudly worked for and traveled nationwide working on large projects. Not only did his brother work at CVE alongside him for 37 years, but his son and two grandsons currently work there. He was proud of his many accomplishments and continually reminded his family of the projects he had worked on while traveling together.
One of his greatest joys was coming out of retirement to assist and share his expertise on the Los Angeles Temple renovation for seven months in 2005 and 2006.
In mission work and daily life, Merlin exemplified the principles of his faith - a testament to his deep connection with spirituality. His favorite scripture is from Mosiah 2:17:
And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God.
Merlin enjoyed investing in people and building community, whether volunteering, attending church, or spending time with his family. He was very active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and held many callings. For the last 10 years, his calling was giving baptism lessons, alongside his wife, to the 8-year-olds in his ward. This developed into special friendships, and Merlin always filled his pockets with Smarties before leaving for church to give to his young friends as they greeted him each Sunday morning.
He especially enjoyed scouting, received many awards, and attended Wood Badge. He found great joy in helping many young men work towards and receive their Eagle Scout Award. In 2001-2002, Merlin and Helen served an Ogden Inter-City mission and enjoyed many new friendships. He and his wife loved attending the Temple together, which was an important part of their weekly activities.
May the legacy of Merlin W. Ward continue through the lives he touched, especially in the hearts of his six children, 18 grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren he was so proud of and adored.
He is survived by his loving wife, Helen, and his children: Darren (Julie), Rodney (Midge), Suzanne (Marco), Eric (Jenna), Pamela (David), and Brett (Jenny).
He is also survived by his brother Arlo Ward (LoRaine), sisters Carol (Lyle) Henderson, Lucille (Larry) Wilkinson, and sister-in-law Anna Mae Ward. He is also survived by Helen’s siblings; Owen (Gloria) Harris, Aileen Jackson, and Ann (Marc) Nielsen.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Hyrum and Zaetell, as well as siblings: Clarice Hatch, Joseph Ward, Earl Ward, and his daughter-in-law Cheryl Whitehead Ward.
Helen and the family would especially like to thank Dr. R. Mark Firth and his nurse Sarah, for their loving, personalized care and support over the past few months.
Services will be Friday, December 1, at 10:00 am, with a viewing prior from 9:00 am - 9:45 am at the Farr West 3rd Ward Church located at 1745 N. 2300 W. Farr West, UT. There will also be a viewing on Thursday from 6 pm to 8 pm at Myers Mortuary, 845 Washington Blvd., Ogden, Utah. His service will be recorded and added to his obituary following services.