Merlin Leroy Parmiter was born Dec. 1, 1944, in Pueblo, Colo., to Eloise V. (Warner) and Merl Leroy Parmiter. While growing up in Colorado, he worked in construction with his father and on Aug. 30, 1964, Merlin married Joyce Linda Higginson in Grand Junction, Colo.
The couple moved to Missoula, Mont., in 1967 and settled in the Gorge area in 1971.
Throughout his life, Merlin held many positions, including manager of a department store, operating a service station, working as a mechanic for Western Auto, and finally the owner of his business, A-Z Paving Co.
He enjoyed drag racing and working with his son on their race car. A rock hound, he liked to shine rocks in his rock tumbler, and he was always working and remodeling his house.
Going to the coast and cooking were other things Merlin enjoyed. He had a great love for cats and kids and received a lot of joy from his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Merlin passed away at his home in Odell, Ore., on Sept. 20, 2010, at the age of 65. He is survived by his wife, Joyce, of Odell; son Merlin Parmiter Jr. and daughter-in-law, Karen, of Odell; daughters Denise Parmiter and her significant other, Tony Madewell, of Hood River, Crystal Parmiter Michaud and her husband, Keith, of Hood River, and Dana Geary and her husband, Jeff, of Klickitat, Wash.; brothers and their wives Larry and Kay Parmiter and Norman and Barbara Parmiter, of Missoula, Mont., and Daryl and Darlene Parmiter, of Great Falls, Mont.; sisters and their husbands Judy and Syl Spino, of Klickitat, and Sheryl and Larry Smith, of Long Beach, Calif.; 10 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by sister Louise Brown and his father, Merl.
A celebration of life service will be held on Saturday, Sept. 25, at Tucker Road Baptist Church in Hood River. Please call Gardner Funeral Home at 509-493-1323 for service time.
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