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09/12/2012Merrill Edwards 
Merrill “Eddie” Louis Edwards, 80, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, September 12, 2012, at Mercy Hospice in Johnston. A visitation will be from 1 to 3 p.m., Sunday, September 16, 2012, with a funeral service at 10 a.m., on Monday, September 17, at Hamilton’s Southtown Funeral Home, 5400 SW 9th Street.

Interment will follow at Graceland Cemetery in Knoxville. A reception for family and friends will follow the graveside service at the V.F.W. John Myers Post #3519, 413 South Lincoln Street, Knoxville.

Merrill was born December 3, 1931, in Knoxville, IA, to Dora and Vincent Edwards.

He went to school in Knoxville, where he enjoyed playing basketball, football, track, and later boxing. He then stepped up for his Country by enlisting in the U.S. Navy in 1948, taking his honored place as a veteran of the Korean War.

Upon discharge from the Navy in 1952, he married his beloved wife, Melva Don Cox, from Harvey, IA, in 1953. They moved to Des Moines soon after, where he started work at Coca-Cola Bottlers as a route sales driver in 1953. In 1955, they had a son, Gary; in 1956, a daughter, Janet, and in 1959, a son, Mark.

In 1954, they moved to the Des Moines Southside where they lived, loved, and raised their family and enjoyed spending time with their friends. Merrill moved up the ladder with Coca-Cola to the position of Plant Manager until he retired from the company in 1978.

He opened Southland Vending Company in Des Moines. While successfully operating his vending company, he also took on the position of Warehouse Manager at Nesbit Distributing (Budweiser) in Des Moines.

Merrill saw to it that his children received a good education from the Des Moines Public school system southside schools. He passed his love of sports on to his children, always encouraging them to do their best and be the best they could be.

He was a good friend to all that knew him, shook his hand, shared conversation and laughs. He was clearly a devoted husband, father, grandfather, uncle, and brother.
Merrill Edwards
He will be deeply missed by his beloved and devoted wife of 58 years, Melva; daughter, Janet, and son, Mark, of Des Moines; grandchildren and great-grandchildren; sisters, Norma Kane and Roberta (Ed) McDonald of Knoxville; and brother Robert (Doris) Edwards and half brother, Ernie (Billie) Wilfong of Omaha; as well as many, many nieces and nephews.

Merrill was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Ralph and Donald; sisters, Florence and Alberta; and beloved son, Gary.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the Hospice of Johnston or to his family.