NORMAN — Robert Dean Merkel was born July 20, 1941, in Boone, Iowa, to Florence (Maynard) and Ralph Merkel. He passed away Friday, Nov. 1, 2013, at the age of 72, in Live Oak, Texas, surrounded by his family while in the care of hospice.
Bob attended school in Des Moines, Iowa, and graduated in 1959 from Des Moines Tech High. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1959 and proudly served for six years.
Agreeing to a blind date for New Year’s Eve, he met Jane Potter. They married July 12, 1964, in Des Moines, Iowa. They recently celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary.
Bob had a long career in the heating and air conditioning industry, beginning in 1968 with Lennox Industries in Marshalltown, Iowa, as a laboratory technician while attending college. In 1972, he relocated his young family to Norman, where he took a position with Westinghouse (which became Borg-Warner then York) in the Engineering Department.
While there, he had various positions including service engineer and quality assurance engineer/ supervisor, which included quality control, marketing, writing product and technical guides for field personnel and consumers and working with Underwriters Lab. In 1991, Bob joined Friedrich Air Conditioning Company in San Antonio as a specification engineer. He retired in 1998.
Bob was a master woodworker and enjoyed passing his knowledge and skill to his children and grandsons. He coached his children in softball and baseball and was a Cub Scout den master. Bob retired due to many physical and medical disabilities, which he faced with great strength, determination, trust and faith in the Lord. During his retirement, he enjoyed working on genealogy research and many computer projects. Bob was a life-long member of the United Methodist Church. The highlights of his life were his family and his many dogs throughout the years.
He was preceded in death by his parents and sisters Delores Byers and Patricia Nelson.