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Merle Dodson

7/19/1924 - 10/3/2017

EAST PEORIA~ Merle Franklin Dodson, 93, of East Peoria, passed away at 3:10 a.m. Tuesday, October 3, 2017 at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria.

He was born July 19, 1924 in Gridley to Gilbert Elmon and Violet Bernadine (Gregory) Dodson.  Merle left his family farm in Lexington at the age of 27 to marry Rosemary Elizabeth Rahn on August 18, 1951 in Peoria.  They purchased a small home in East Peoria and started a family.  She died February 18, 2004.  He was also preceded in death by his parents; one grandson, Carson Allgood; two brothers, Donald Dodson and Lloyd Dodson; and one sister, Charlotte Gaddy.

Surviving are two sons, James (Denise) Dodson of East Peoria and Gregory (Mary Lynn) Dodson of Washington; eight daughters, Rebecca Chirello of Tremont, Linda (Gregg) Carr of Hennepin, Diane (David) Oedewaldt of Bartonville, Rosanne (Jeff) Nau of Washington, Cathy Dodson of California, Mary (Kenneth) Allgood of Altona, Christine (James) Barnes of Ottawa, Canada, and Brenda (Jeff) Ciembronowicz of O’Fallon, Missouri; fourteen grandchildren, Nicholas Chirello, Andrew Chirello, Melissa Chirello, Jason Carr, Heather Baker, Ryan Oedewaldt, Stephen Oedewaldt, Ashley Rasmussen, Justin Nau, Jediah Dodson, Courtnie Dodson, Nicole Snell, Austin Allgood and Drew Barnes; one step-grandson, Barry Littlejohn; one step-granddaughter, Nicole Murray; and twelve great-grandchildren.

Merle was employed at Meyer Manufacturing in Morton (now Butler Manufacturing) for 35 years, retiring in 1986 as a general foreman.  He also had worked for Clay Equipment in Morton. Merle had served a Special Deputy Sheriff for Tazewell County in 1959.

He was baptized into the Catholic faith on April 2, 1950 and was charter member of Sacre Coeur Catholic Church in Creve Coeur.

Merle enjoyed fishing at his cabin in Wisconsin which was his most enjoyable past time.  He also was fond of gardening, boating, and watching any airplanes fly over.  Merle had the knack or God given talent to fix anything.

His funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, October 7, 2017 at Saint Anthony Catholic Church in Bartonville with Father David Heinz as the celebrant.  Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory in Creve Coeur, where a Scripture service will be held at 6:45 p.m.  Additional visitation will be from 9:15 to 9:45 a.m. Saturday at the church.  Burial will be at Saint Mary’s Cemetery in West Peoria.

Memorial contributions may be made to Sophia’s Kitchen, 504 Fulton Street, Peoria, IL 61602 or to Saint Anthony Catholic Church, 2525 South Skyway Road, Bartonville, IL 61607 for Mass intentions.

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