Merlin Jay Brooke passed away peacefully at home on September 22, 2019. Merlin was born January 20, 1933, to Lancelot William and Bernice Mae (Collier) Brooke and was raised in the farmhouse that his grandfather built in Sunfield, Michigan. Merlin later purchased the family farm and enjoyed working the land while he raised his own family there. Merlin graduated from Sunfield High School where he met his first wife, Darlene Louise Durkee, with whom he shared four daughters. Merlin married Leona Wahneta (Eastman) Morehouse in 1968 and welcomed her son and daughter into his family.
Merlin was a jack of all trades with a great work ethic working many different jobs throughout his life, many times two to four jobs at a time. Just to list a few; Hough Brother Construction, welding bridges in the Lansing and Grand Rapids area, milking cows and driving bus, all while farming the family farm. What he loved most about all the jobs that he was blessed with was the interesting people that he came in contact with and got to know. Merlin loved people and hearing their stories.
Merlin’s passion was his farming. While farming with him for many years his daughter, Vicki, learned how to work the farm, care for it and nurture it. His daughter, Cindy (who he nicknamed and called Clyde) remembers that he taught her forgiveness, love, care, kindness, honesty and how to work hard. He taught Clyde to sit quietly and feel the peacefulness from the woods and nature. She’ll never forget walking around with him as he picked up the dirt and smelled it and talked about how important the dirt was and about the crops and the farm and how he always did his best to be the best man he could be.
Merlin loved the outdoors and spending time with friends and family. He especially enjoyed boating, water skiing, camping, deer hunting and deer camp with his buddies, cutting wood, building go-carts and playhouses for his kids, walking through the woods, and giving his grandkids, great-grandkids and great-great grandkids rides on his tractors, gator and snowmobiles. Merlin enjoyed his travels across the country, especially his trip to Alaska, where he was in awe of the beauty and wildlife.
Merlin was preceded in death by his parents, Infant Child, Douglas Kirk, his brother, Royce Brooke, and sisters, Beulah Harkness and Leona Binns.
He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Leona, of Sunfield, Michigan, brother, Gerald Brooke of Colorado, children: Vicki L. (Paul) Black of Vermontville, Sandra J. (the late Joseph) Brown of Saranac, Michelle A. (Brian) Quinn of High Point, North Carolina, Cindy S. Brooke of Prescott, AZ, Paul J. (Tammy) Morehouse and Vickie L. (Don) Thorp all of Lake Odessa, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren and his dog, Beanie, who was a faithful friend and companion.
Contributions may be made to FFA, or the Sunfield Historical Society Welch Museum.
Celebration of Life services will be held 11:00 am – Thursday Sept. 26, 2019 at Sunfield United Brethren Church.
Please visit the special web page made for Merlin to leave a condolence or light a candle: www.RosierFuneralHome.com.
The family has entrusted the arrangements to the Independent Family Owned Funeral Home in Sunfield: Rosier Funeral Home.
To plant a tree in memory of Merlin Jay Brooke, please visit our tribute store.
National FFA Foundation
PO Box 68960, Indianapolis IN 46268-0960
Sunfield Historical Society Welch Museum
161 Main St., Sunfield MI 48890