Merl S. Utsler\r\nOctober 25, 1923 ~ November 23, 2020\r\nMerl Utsler, 97 passed away peacefully on Monday, November 23, 2020 at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa. He so wanted to make that 100th birthday! Memorial services for Merl will be held at 2:00 PM, Saturday, July 17, 2021 at Peterson Funeral Home in Carlisle. A visitation will begin at 12:00 PM prior to services at the funeral home. Interment with military honors will follow services in the Carlisle City Cemetery.\r\nMerl was born on October 25, 1923 in Winterset, Iowa to Charles and Lillie (Harrell) Utsler. Merl's father passed away when he was just three years old and his stepfather, Dick McCauley was very instrumental in raising him. Merl grew up in Winterset and was a member of the Class of 1943. However, in February of 1943, before his graduation, Merl joined the Coast Guard to serve his country in WWII. He sailed the seas to many different locations and was a proud veteran. He finally received his high school Diploma at his 50 year class reunion.\r\nMerl moved his family to Carlisle in 1957 to become a meat cutter at the grocery store his brother Dick owned; he also worked for the City of Carlisle and then went to work for General Mills, retiring after 28 years. Merl just couldn't sit around and do nothing so he worked part time at Photo Printing in Carlisle until he was 87 years old. He was very proud to serve the community on the Carlisle Fire Department and was Fire Chief for over 18 years. Merl was a member of the American Legion and was very excited to take the Honor Flight to Washington D.C. in 2017 with his son-in-law Peter. Just two months ago he was mowing his yard with a push mower. He loved to mow and the hotter outside the better!!\r\nMerl is preceded in death by his first wife, Harriet Lewis; his parents; his step-father and his brothers John and Joe; son-in-laws Glen "Bud" Ross, Gene Cox and his beloved fur baby Sassy.\r\nMerl is survived by his wife of over 70 years, JoAnne; his son Gary (Jan) of Pottsboro, Texas; daughters Diana Cox of The Colony, Texas; Vicki Anderson (Peter) of Gilman City, Missouri; Martha Ross of Carlisle; and Kim (Les) Hartshorn of Carlisle; his brother Dick McCauley of Honokaa, Hawaii; 12 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren with one on the way; several nieces, nephews and his new four legged friend, Teddy.\r\nMemorials can go to the family or the Animal Rescue League of Iowa in Merl's name.\r\nDue to Covid-19 there will be no service at this time; a memorial service will take place in the spring.