Merle D. Whitis, age 75 of Stone Creek, passed away Thursday, August 2, 2018, from complications of a long-term illness. He was born in Cambridge, Ohio, on July 28, 1943. He was the son of the late George and Dova (Gibson) Whitis.
Merle was a 1961 graduate of Cambridge High School. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Muskingum College while also playing basketball for the Muskies. He earned a Master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling from West Virginia University.
For over 43 years, Merle enjoyed serving countless students and families as a teacher, principal, guidance counselor, and coach in Dover City Schools, Buckeye Career Center, and Garaway Local Schools.
Merle was a man of faith, a patriot, a loving husband, father, and friend. He enjoyed spending time with his wife of 54 years, his family, church, Bible studies, bicycling, following sports, reading, fishing, and ice cream.
Along with his wife, Merle is survived by: four children and their spouses, Lisa and Randy Kjerstad of Wyoming, Matthew and Stephanie Whitis of Georgia, Brad and Julie Whitis of Ohio, Sara and Christopher Flannery of California; and three grandchildren, Samuel and Lucy Kjerstad, and Caleb Whitis. He is also survived by his sister, Forrest Harding, a brother, Dale (Shirley) Whitis, his father-in-law, Duane Murdock, and numerous nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his sister, Melda Briggs.
A celebration of Merle’s life will take place at 2:00 PM on Tuesday, August 7, 2018, at Smith-Varns Funeral Home in Sugarcreek, Ohio, with Pastor Dwight Mason officiating. Burial will follow in the Fiat Cemetery. Family will greet friends at 1:00 PM prior to the service.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a memorial contribution in Merle’s memory to the Peter W. Schramm Scholarship Fund at the Ashbrook Center, Ashland University, 401 College Avenue, Ashland, Ohio, 44805, or Lakeview Baptist Church, 5796 US Route 250, Beach City, Ohio 44608.