Merle Joy, 80, long-time owner-operator of Joy’s Machine Shop and Supply in Falls City, passed away Sunday, Jan. 18, 2015 at Community Medical Center in Falls City. His funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23, at Dorr and Clark Funeral Home, with Rev. Paul Weinert officiating. Inurnment will be at a later date at Steele Cemetery.
After graduating from Falls City High School in 1952, Merle attended the University of Nebraska for one year before returning to work full-time at the family business at 512 W. 14th St., where he had worked regularly since junior high school. During this time, he spent many of his days in the oilfields of southeast Nebraska with his father and brother. He retired in 2011 after more than 60 years at “The Shop.” He enjoyed visiting with customers and passing on his “Merle’s of Wisdom.”
Merle was born Nov. 3, 1934 in Salem to Ivan and Esta (Wittwer) Joy. The family moved to Falls City when he was as a young boy.
He served two years (1957-1959) in the Army, including assignments at Sandia Base, NM, and Fort Sill, OK, followed by three years in the local Company B, Nebraska Army National Guard.
Merle married Karen Louise Kahl on Sept. 16, 1962 in Mineola, IA.
He enjoyed music his entire life; everything from the big band to jazz to Pink Floyd and could often be found listening to his MP3 player while playing solitaire on the computer. He enjoyed being with his family who kept him current on the latest music and technology. He was always interested in learning new things and was a wealth of knowledge and trivia. Even after retirement, he still liked to tinker in his shop, especially with someone who appreciated tinkering as much as he did.
Merle was a long-time member of the Southeast Nebraska Blacksmith, Welders and Machinist Association, where he had many longtime friends and associates. As a younger man, he enjoyed competing in tractor pulling and was a motor sports enthusiast his entire life.
He is survived by his wife, Karen; children, Jennifer Krug, of Auburn, Michael Joy, of St. Joseph MO, and Matthew (Holly) Joy, of Plattsmouth; grandchildren, Dylan, Tyler, Wyatt, Maxwell and Ryan; brother, Leon (Carolyn) Joy, of Falls City; sister-in-law, Elizabeth (Bob) Young, of Spearfish, SD; brother-in-law, Marvin “Bud” (Marge) Kahl, of Mineola; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends, and special canine friend and companion, Caesar.
He was preceded in death by his parents.