Merritt “Junior” McCardle, 85, passed away at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics on 04/08/19. Mr. McCardle was born 8/12/33 in Independence, Iowa to Verna Mabel Blank McCardle and Merritt James McCardle.
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He joined the Iowa National Guard at an early age in 1948 and served 4 months and 10 days before being discharged for being underage. He then joined the Navy and served during the Korean War as an Aviation Ordinanceman 3rd class off the coast of Korea. He was also part of Operation Ivy in 1952 and observed 3 separate nuclear explosions 30 miles from ground zero on the deck of the USS Randova. He proudly boasted of spending his 18th birthday at the United Bar in Kobe, Japan. He was honorably discharged in 1954 and was the only 21-year-old in high school with a liquor book and military stipend covering his car payment!
He graduated from Independence High School in 1954 and later from Hawkeye Tech with a degree in Tool & Die Machining.
His work history was long and varied from working at Bill & Don’s Phillips 66, Priebe’s Gas Station, Rath Packing, Gross Auction House with a trucking business, John Deere, Chamberlains plus many other smaller jobs. He owned Junior’s Spot, Second Hand Store and Burger and Cone. He was known for plate size tenderloins and barbeque ribs.
While working at Rath Packing he met Marcie Schares. They were married in June 1958 for 25 years. Even though later divorcing they remained extremely close and looked out for each other. Five children came from this union: Charlie, Kathy, Connie, Verna and Richard. One unique point is that the first three children even though a consecutive year apart each share the same birthday of September 30th 1959, 60, and 61’. Junior knew how to celebrate New Year’s Eve!!
Junior suffered many health ailments throughout his life and received a heart transplant from the University of Madison in February 1995. The life expectancy of a heart transplant at the time was 5 years and he lived with the new heart for 24 years. Normal people may have 9 lives but Junior had at least 20.
Junior had a zest for life, his family and especially his grandchildren. He loved reading cookbooks, telling other people how to cook, explaining the art of a perfect loaf of bread, and regaling his endless stories of military adventures to grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife, Marcie McCardle, Independence, children Charlie (Cindy) McCardle, Independence, Kathy Postel, Independence, Connie (Jeff) Schnepf, Hazleton, Verna (Don) Sperfslage, Winthrop, Richard (Dr. Brenda) McCardle, Mason City. Eleven grandchildren and sixteen great grandchildren and one great-great grandson. Two sisters, RoseMary (Joe) Sironen, Geneva, OH, and Elaine (Fred) Lee, Madison, MO, and one sister-in-law Beverly McCardle, Brandon, IA.
He was preceded in death by his father Merritt, mother Verna, infant sister Mary Alice, step mother Mary, siblings Rodger (Pat) McCardle, Ken (Jean) McCardle, Jean (Don) Parrish, Marva (Don) Schmidt, Robert (Mary) McCardle, John McCardle, Son-in-law Richard Postel and great grandson Aaron Postel.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 AM Saturday at St. John’s Catholic Church, Independence with Rev. David Beckman officiating. Burial in St. John’s Cemetery, Independence, IA. Friends may call from 3 to 8 PM Friday at the Reiff Family Center, Independence where a Rosary will be recited at 3 PM and a Military Memorial Service will be held at 7:30 PM Friday.
Junior will always be remembered for his life advice and numerous quotes, not only is the good Lord looking down upon us from time to time but now Dad is too.