Merle Lawrence West, 74, of Connersville passed away Sunday evening, January 10, 2021 at Reid Health, Richmond.
The oldest of seven children of Russel and Mary Burch West, Merle was born in Batesville and grew up in the Metamora area. Following his graduation from Brookville High School, Merle enlisted in the United States Navy where he served his country during the Vietnam era as a communication specialist on the guided missile destroyer U.S.S Berkley.
Upon receiving his honorable discharge from the U. S. Navy, Merle returned to Connersville where he married the former Judy A Messer on October 19, 1968. Mrs. West survives.
Merle was employed with the City of Connersville Police Department, starting as a patrolman and earning the ranks of Detective Lieutenant, Assistant Chief, and Chief. After 30 years of service, he retired in 1999 but stayed on with the police department as the system administrator. Merle was also employed at Fisher Body Shop, Philco-Ford, D and M, C and C Tire, and a bus driver for Bunzendahl Transportation. He also was part of the security department for various community events.
A faithful member of Alquina United Methodist Church, Merle served as a trustee and taught the Young Adult Sunday School Class. He was also a member of the Connersville Jaycees, Connersville Bass Club, and the Krazy Quilt Campers. In his leisure time, he enjoyed fishing, camping, mushroom hunting, playing the guitar, and talking on his C.B. where his handle was “Corn Dog”.
Besides his wife of 52 years, Judy West, survivors include a son, Christopher J. (Chanel) West of Connersville; a granddaughter, Lilith West of Connersville; two grandsons, Christopher M. (Katie) West and Matthew L. West, all of Phoenix, Arizona; a sister, Pam (Ken) Cox of Brookville; a brother, Bobby (Annie) West of Metamora; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Merle was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, James West; and three infant brothers, Gary Edward, Kenneth Ray, and Aaron Paul West.
Family and friends may call from 11:00 a.m. until the time of service at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 14, 2021 at Miller, Moster, Robbins Funeral Home. Reverend Rob Judd will officiate. Burial with military honors provided by the Fayette County Veterans Council will follow in Dale Cemetery.
Friends may view the service and leave online condolences at millermosterrobbins.com.