NORMAN — Merle Charles Ibach, 97, passed away, Tuesday, April 2, 2013 .
Services will be 2 p.m. Monday at Stufflebean-Coffey Chapel of Remembrance. Reverend Gregg Johnson will officiate. Committal prayers and interment will be at Mt. Olivet Cemetery under the direction of Stufflebean-Coffey Funeral Home.
Merle Ibach was born on a farm near Caplinger Mills, Mo., Feb. 10, 1916 in Cedar County, Mo. to Grace Dean (Guinn) and Henry Franklin Ibach. At the age of 15, following the death of his father and during the great depression, he and his mother moved to Bartlesville in 1933. There his Uncle, Orval Guinn, purchased a membership in the YMCA where he spent many happy hours in athletic endeavors.
Merle graduated from Bartlesville High School in 1934. In 1937, Merle and Helen (Wynn) Ibach were married at her home in Ochelata by the late Rev. Augie Henry. They established their home in Bartlesville.
During World War II, Merle served three years in the United States Navy both here and in England. Merle was with the Phillips Petroleum Company 40 years in the accounting and sales departments. In the sales department, he developed markets for refinery by-products. He served as President of the Limestone Lions Club. He enjoyed developing herds of Limousine cattle and registered quarter horses.
He was a member of First Baptist Church in Bartlesville, serving as a deacon and teacher of 12 year-old boys, and, later, 12th grade boys. He served as Camp Director at Falls Creek Baptist Youth Camp near Davis, for one to two weeks every summer for 10 years.
One of the highlights of his life was seeing his vision of a new church come to fruition. He was a founding father of Eastern Heights Baptist Church in Bartlesville, serving as chairman of deacons for many years, while teaching senior high boys and then senior men. In 1992, he and Helen moved to Pauls Valley to be near two of his children. There he was a member of the Pauls Valley First Baptist Church, serving as deacon and teaching senior men. Over all, he taught Sunday school classes for 70 years, with the exception of World War II and a year caring for his wife, Helen.
In addition to his mother, father and wife, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Franklin Henry Ibach of Caplinger, Mo. and James Deward Ibach of Caney, Kan.; and one sister, Marie Ibach Dillsavor of Bartlesville.
Survivors include two sons, David Wynn Ibach (formerly of Houston, Texas), Henry Franklin Ibach and his wife Sharon Lynn of Norman; and one daughter, Frann (Ibach) Pratt and her husband Phillip Robert of Pauls Valley; four grandchildren, David Ryan Ibach and his wife Bethany of Oklahoma City and Stephen Franklin Ibach and fiancée Clare Springer of Norman, Jennifer Anne Pratt of Pauls Valley and Jessica Lee Johnson and her husband Gregg of Redding, Calif.; and two great grandchildren, Gabrielle and Judah Johnson.
He was a sweet, kind and generous man, always ready to help others, while independent and firm in his beliefs and convictions. He will be missed.
We invite you to send a message of condolence and view the family's guest book at www.stufflebeanfuneralhome.com.