Merlin Gerald Snell, 90, of Decorah died Thursday, April 18, 2013, at the Winneshiek Medical Center in Decorah.

He was born Oct. 22, 1922, in Hesper Township, Winneshiek County, Iowa, on the family farm, to Frank and Lucy (Chase) Snell. He attended country school at Hesper #6 (the Chase School) and graduated from Canton High School in 1940. He attended Iowa State in Ames for one year then returned home to do what he loved to do, farming.

He entered the United States Army in 1944 and served in the Philippines in the 32nd Infantry Division. He was wounded on April 10, 1945, and was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

He married Bernelle Amundson on June 2, 1947, at the Mabel First Lutheran parsonage. They lived on his home farm until 1950 and then built a home one mile away and continued to farm in Hesper and Burr Oak Townships until they retired.

He raised beef and hogs, grew corn, soybeans, oats and hay. He loved to drive McCormick tractors and John Deere combines. He last was able to drive the combine in the fall of 2003.

In November of 2003 he and his wife moved to a condo in Decorah. Health problems in July 2012 brought him to the Aase Haugen Home in Decorah.

He was a member of the Mabel First Lutheran Church, the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Winneshiek County Cattlemen, Farm Bureau, the Pork Producers, an FFA Honorary Chapter Member, and former 4-H leader.

He enjoyed his wife's good baking and cooking, going on family fishing trips, traveling, dancing, watching and listening to Lawrence Welk.

He is survived by his wife, Bernelle; five children, Larry (Corinne) Snell of Wausau, Wis., Dr. Randy (Susan) Snell of Lewiston, Jolyn Mikesh of Decorah, Frank Snell of Decorah, and Pamela Snell of Decorah and Rochester; eight grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Lucy Snell; his mother-in-law and father-in-law, Idella and Gilbert Amundson,and son-in-law, Steve Mikesh.

Funeral services were held on Sunday at the Mabel First Lutheran Church in Mabel with the Rev. Gail Klavetter officiating. Burial was in the Burr Oak Cemetery in Burr Oak, Iowa.

Memorials are preferred to the Mabel First Lutheran Church.

Mengis Funeral Home in Mabel assisted the family with arrangements.