Merlyn Dean Schutz, 78, passed away on Saturday, March 14, 2015, at the Lexington Regional Health Center.  Merlyn was born October 23, 1936, to Ernest and Louise (Stagemeyer) Schutz, in Elwood, Nebraska, the seventh of nine children.  He was a life-long resident of Gosper County and the Elwood community.  He grew up on the family farm southwest of Elwood, attending Salem Lutheran school, and then Elwood High School.  Merlyn graduated from Elwood High School as Valedictorian of the Class of 1954.  After graduation, he worked for Richard Clark as a meat cutter and assisted him in the funeral home.  In 1956, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corp and was stationed at Camp Pendleton, California, attaining the rank of Sergeant.  After his discharge in 1959, Merlyn returned to Elwood, again working for Richard Clark.  On December 17, 1959, he married Janice K. Bailey.  To this union four children were born:  Keven, Kristi, Lisa, and Jeff.  In 1964, he went to work for Tri-County/NPPD, where he remained until his retirement in 2000. 


He was a life-long member of Salem Lutheran Church, which later merged into Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, serving in many capacities.  Not only was he very active in his church, but also the community, including the Elwood Lions Club, the Elwood Volunteer Fire Department, American Legion Post 290, and the Gosper County Carnival Association.


On September 1, 1984, he married Marjorie Oelkers.


Merlyn enjoyed hunting from a very young age.  He also enjoyed fishing, gardening, and tinkering in his garage, as well as attending his grandchildren’s activities and high school and college sports.  He loved to travel, marveling at all of God’s creation.  Merlyn always had a love of nature and farming, often helping area farmers, and even raising a few hogs and cattle of his own.  However, the joy of his life was his family.  He loved his children and grandchildren beyond measure.


Merlyn is survived by his loving wife of 30 years, Marjorie; his children, Keven (Kathi) of Amarillo, Texas, Kristine Miranda of Dallas, Texas, Lisa (Greg) Huerta of Kearney, Nebraska, and Jeffrey (Michelle) of Fulda, Minnesota; grandchildren, Sequin (Ryan) Brewer, Audrey, Sabrina, and Vincent Miranda, Ashley and Jason Huerta, and Kristina Ramirez and Samantha Schutz;  great-grandchildren, Adrian Ramirez and Sarinah Schutz; brothers, Wayne (Ila) Schutz, Herbert (Joan) Schutz, Eugene (Carol) Schutz, and sisters Evelyn Wegener, Maxine Snurr, and Marlene (William) Knoerzer.   Merlyn is also survived by Marjorie’s sons, Stanley (Gwen) Harm, Kim (Rachel) Oelkers, Troy (Cheryl) Oelkers,  Robbie (Sharon) Oelkers, and their families. 


Merlyn was preceded in death by his parents, brother Ervin Schutz and sister Eleanore Schutz, son-in-law Joseph Miranda, granddaughter Madison Schutz, brothers-in-law Virgil Wegener and Clarence Snurr, and niece Lorie Vowers.


Condolences or personal reflection can be left at


Funeral services were Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at 10:30 AM at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Elwood, Nebraska with Pastor Michael Wolff, officiating. Interment will be at the Salem Cemetery at Elwood, Nebraska. Elwood Funeral Home of Elwood, Nebraska is in charge of the arrangements.