The pink bunny that kept going and going has now gone. Albern Merrill Holyoak has taken his last ride on this power chair after having been seen riding all over town in American Falls.
Merrill was born and raised on a farm in Burley, ID, and graduated from Burley High School. Then, after serving his country as a sailor in the Navy during WWII, he served his church as a missionary for two years in Louisiana. He graduated from Utah State Agricultural College, now Utah State University, and taught for six years as an FFA advisor in Murtaugh, ID, and was a principal there. Upon receiving a science scholarship to the University of Utah, he received a Master’s Degree and taught chemistry and physics at American Falls High School for 11 1/2 years. His life changed for him and his family in January 1971, when at the tender age of 44, he had a debilitating stroke, which retired him from the workforce. He was very active in the LDS Church all his life. He never lost his sense of humor and he had many friends.
After quite a few years his abilities did not function as well and he eventually had to rely on getting around on his power chair, which he rode all over town. After having ups and downs and help from a physical therapist, we called him the Pink Energizer Bunny because he kept going and going. Now, four months before turning 90, he has finally taken his last ride and on Tuesday night, April 5, 2016, the Pink Bunny ran out of power. Merrill spent his last years of his life at Quinn Meadows in Pocatello where he received excellent care.
Merrill is leaving behind his wife of 67 years, Barbara Morrison Holyoak, six sons and one daughter: Val (Peggy) of Astoria, OR; Jody of Bellington, WA; Lenn (Lennox, deceased) (Jolene) of Nampa, ID; Roger (Connie) of Chubbuck, ID; Max (Lori) of Pocatello, ID; Curtis of Pocatello, ID; and Tim (Kelcy) of Hood River, OR; a sister, Laura Lee Vorwaller of Burley, ID; brothers, Richard (Nola) of Burley, ID, and Loren (Linda) of Burley; and 22 grandchildren and 24 and counting great-grandchildren.
Gone ahead and waiting for him are his parents, Lovell and Anne Holyoak; his son, Gary Lovell Holyoak; his brother, Alan, and his wife, Jean Holyoak; his daughter-in-law, Lennox Holyoak; and brother-in-law, Richard Vorwaller.
Funeral services were held at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, April 9, with a 1:30 p.m. viewing prior to the funeral at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 111 Church Place in American Falls and a viewing Friday, April 8, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Davis-Rose Mortuary, 170 Idaho St., in American Falls.
Condolences, memories and photos may be shared at www.davisrosemortuary.com.
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