Merlin Rykhoek, 88, of New Sharon passed away Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012, at his residence in New Sharon. Funeral services will begin at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012, at the New Sharon Assembly of God Church with Pastor Scott Collier officiating. Interment will be in the Sully Cemetery in Sully. Visitation will begin after noon on Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, at the Holland-Coble Funeral Home in New Sharon with the family present from 5 to 7 p.m. Friends may sign the online guestbook at www.hollandcoblefuneralhomes.com. Holland-Coble Funeral Home of New Sharon is in charge of arrangements.
Merlin Edward Rykhoek, son of Ben and Marie (Klein) Rykhoek, was born on Aug. 23, 1924, in Sully, Iowa. He attended Highland School, graduating from the eighth grade. In 1947, he graduated from Central Bible Institute, Springfield, Mo. On Jan. 2, 1947, Merlin was united in marriage to Gretta Ellen Meppelink in Lynnville. To this union three children were born: Barbara Joann, Deloris Diane and Philip Merle.
Merlin farmed in the Jasper County area for many years and also worked at Maytag in Newton as a night supervisor. He was known as a diligent, faithful worker, loved his family and was en route to visit them in Texas when he passed away. Merlin enjoyed family board and card games, even with his great-grandchildren, auto races and events at the state fair and reading the Bible through annually upon his retirement. When his wife Gretta was confined to a wheelchair, he faithfully cared for her to her death. He was very active in the Newton Assembly of God Church, serving as a board member and secretary treasurer. When Merlin relocated to New Sharon, he transferred his membership to the New Sharon Assembly of God Church.
His memory will be honored by his two children: Barbara Hallman of North Richland Hills, Texas, and Phillip (Anna-Leigh) Rykhoek of Oak Point, Texas; a son-in-law, David Armstrong of Round Rock, Texas; nine grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and many friends.
Merlin is preceded in death by his parents, Ben and Marie Rykhoek; his wife, Gretta Rykhoek; a daughter, Deloris Armstrong; his brother, Carl Rykhoek; and a son-in-law, Hugh Hallman.