Merlyn Eugene Larson, 79, rural Marquette, died Thursday, March 30, 2023, surrounded by the love of his family. Born November 23, 1943, Merlyn was the youngest child of Erland H. Larson & Marie I. (Durland) Larson. Merlie, as he was called during his schoolyears, attended grade school at Number 8 Schoolhouse, middle school at Eden Prairie, and high school at Marquette High School. During his senior year, the 1960 MHS Wolverines football team finished the season undefeated, untied, and unscored on – a remarkable feat he and his teammates were proud of. Merlyn attended Bethany College, graduating in 1965 with a Bachelor of Arts. In July 1965, Merlyn attended United States Navy Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI, becoming a Lieutenant (Junior Grade). After completing officer training school, Merlyn served on the USS Windham County (LST-1170) as a Supply Officer and was deployed to Viet Nam from July 1966 – November 1968. For his service, Merlyn earned the National Defense Service Medal, Viet Nam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and a Meritorious Unit Commendation. Merle met Sandra Kindle at a work Christmas party while they were both working in Kansas City. Merle & Sandra were married on November 10, 1973 at the First Baptist Church in Warsaw, MO. In 1974, they returned to rural Marquette to run the family dairy farm. Merle spent 30+ years milking cows, tending the herd, and growing crops. Merle was the kind and loving father of Matthew and Kirsten Larson, and joyful grandfather of Magnus & Leif. He was an active and devoted member of the Marquette American Legion Post #253. He had just been presented a service award for 55 years of continuous membership in the American Legion on March 14, 2023. At the time of his death, Merle was Vice Commander of Post 253. He was proud to share and serve alongside his Legionnaires. Merle served on the South Sharps Creek Township board for 40 years. He was an active member of Elim Lutheran Church, Marquette his entire life. In recent years, Merle could be found nearly every morning playing dominos with his buddies. It is unknown how much of Kirsten’s inheritance was blown at the domino parlor. Survivors include his wife, Sandy, of their rural Marquette home; son Matthew Larson of Shawnee, KS; daughter Kirsten Larson of Overland Park, KS; sister, Barbara Peterson of Roselle, IL; brother Dennis (Darlene) of Woonsocket, RI; two grandsons, Magnus & Leif Larson of Shawnee, KS; many nieces & nephews; and many friends. Funeral Services will be at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, April 7 at Elim Lutheran Church, 403 N Lincoln St., Marquette, KS with Pastor Amy Kay Pavlovich officiating. Burial will follow at Marquette Lutheran Cemetery. Honor Guard provided by the Marquette American Legion. Calling hours will be Thursday, April 6 from 4 p.m. -6 p.m at Crick-Christians Funeral Home, 103 N Washington, Lindsborg, KS. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Marquette American Legion Post #253 or to Elim Lutheran Church. Memorials may be sent in care of Crick-Christians Funeral Home, 103 N Washington, Lindsborg, KS 67456. As generous in death as he was in life, Merle was a registered donor and was able to donate tissue, bone, & corneas. The family would like to encourage you to register as an organ and tissue donor as a way to memorialize Merle.