Merrill W. Berkheimer, 75, of Hazard, died Sunday, June 22, 2014, at his home. Funeral services were Friday, June 27, 2014, at the Kearney Classic Car Collection Museum with the Rev. Marta Wheeler officiating. Burial was at the Pleasant Valley Cemetery following the service. Visitation was Thursday, June 26, 2014, at the Horner Lieske McBride & Kuhl Funeral and Cremation Services in Kearney.
Memorials are suggested to the family to be designated later. Visit www.hlmkfuneral.com to leave a tribute or message of condolence. Horner Lieske McBride & Kuhl Funeral and Cremation Services in Kearney are in charge of arrangements.
Merrill was born April 10, 1939 in Norfolk. At the age of six months he was adopted by Byron and Naomi (Ward) Berkheimer of Kearney. While growing up in Kearney Merrill loved gardening. He raised tomatoes, selling them to local grocery stores and restaurants.
He graduated from Kearney High School in 1957, and attended Kearney State College for one year.
He joined the National Guard in 1957 and served for nine years. In 1957 Merrill was on the construction crew that helped build Rockwall MFG. in Kearney. When the plant opened in the spring of 1959, he began a 50 year career as a machinist.
He married Bobbi Munday June 7, 1959, in Haxtun, Colo. They lived in Kearney until 1967 when they moved to a farm north of Pleasanton. In addition to farming, Merrill also worked for Ace Irrigation, and Sargent Pipe in Broken Bow retiring in 2009.
Merrill has had lifelong love of collecting and restoring Plymouth cars. In 1974 he and his wife organized the Prairie Region Plymouth Ownerâ€™s Club.He has served as the National Plymouth Ownerâ€™s Club Inc, President, Treasurer and the Board of Directors for several terms. He and Bobbi have attended the National Plymouth Club Meets on a yearly basis since 1972, taking them to many states and Canada.
Merrill also enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, reading, watching the History Channel, and was a member of the Historical Railroad Club, and the Pleasanton United Methodist Church.
Merrill is survived by his wife Bobbi of Hazard; sons, Jeff Berkheimer and his wife Judy of Haxtun, Colo., Greg Berkheimer and his wife Rita of Greeley, Colo.; grandchildren, Anthony Lindsey and his wife Katie of North Platte, Stephanie Berkheimer of North Platte, Preston Berkheimer and his wife Megan of Greeley, Colo., Darci Puga and her husband Tito of Greeley, Colo.; eight great-grandchildren; and his sister JoAnne Berkheimer of Fresno, Calif.
Merrill was preceded in death by his parents.