The Commercial-News, Danville, IL


November 22, 2012

Merle Pepper

BISMARCK — Merle Pepper, 81, of Bismarck passed away at midnight Nov. 20, 2012, at the Illinois Veterans Home in Manteno Ill.

Merle was born July 1, 1931, in Champaign to Frank and Myrtle (Brewer) Pepper.

He married Dorothy Strong on Sept. 12, 1969, in Danville. She survives.

Other survivors include one son, Larry Lee Pepper (Mary Lynne Doherty) of East Dundee, Ill.; daughters Leta Lynn Pepper, Sharon (Mike) Packard of Bismarck, Donna Grubb of Union, Mo., and Marlene (Larry) Harper of Georgetown; sister, Betty Mandt; grandchildren, Michael Packard, Laura Woodason, Larry and Michael Harper, Denise Shepard, Greg Grubb and Susan Lamnert; and 12 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; previous wife, Harriet Howe; and son-in-law, Jerry Grubb.

Merle served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War from 1952 to 1954. After leaving the Army, he went into construction as a general contractor.

He had a great love for the outdoors, raised hunting dogs and enjoyed coon hunting. An avid circus fan, he brought joy to peoples’ lives though the Pepper Ridge Zoo, a traveling menagerie that toured the Midwest.

A celebration of Merle’s life will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 24, at Sunset Funeral Home and Cremation Center, A Life Celebration Home, in Danville. Drew Mentzer of Second Church of Christ will officiate. Visitation will be 9-11 a.m. on Saturday at the funeral home. Burial will take place at Patterson Cemetery in St. Joseph with military honors performed by the Danville American Legion Post 210.

Memorials can be made in Merle’s name to the Illinois Veterans Home in Manteno. Please join Merle’s family in sharing photos, videos and memories of him through his Tribute Wall at

Text Only
  • OBIT Pic 1 Church William C. 'Bill' Church CATLIN — William C. “Bill” Church, 87, a lifelong Catlin resident and farmer, passed away peacefully at 3:55 a.m. Tuesday, April 15, 2014, in the emergency room at Carle Hospital, Urbana.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bowers, Mildred.jpg Mildred Bowers

    Mildred Bowers, 87, of Oakwood, passed away April 9, 2014.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS-CN 04-17 Todd, C photo Charles R. ‘Chuck’ Todd Jr.

    Charles R. “Chuck” Todd Jr., 62, of Danville, passed away at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 15, 2014, at Gardenview Nursing Home in Danville.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • OBIT Pic Hicks Virginia Hicks DANVILLE — Virginia Hicks, 95, of Oakwood, passed away on April 15, 2014.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • OBIT Pic Wise Wendall 'Barney' Wise DANVILLE — Wendall “Barney” Wise, 91, of Danville, passed away on April 14, 2014.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • OBIT Pic Haywood Helen Corene Haywood

    Mother Helen Corene (Butler) Haywood, 95, of Danville, went home to be with her Lord and Savior at 3 a.m. on April 9, 2014.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • OBIT CN 04-17 Barnett S photo Sarah Virginia Hope Shutes Barnett TILTON -- Sarah Virginia Hope Shutes Barnett, 92, of Tilton, passed away at 4:33 p.m. Tuesday, April 15, 2014, at I.U. Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. Virginia was born Sept. 22, 1921, in Montezuma, Ind., the daughter of Lelia Edith Watts and Fra

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • OBIT CN 04-16 SANDERS, Merret photo Merret B. Sanders CATLIN -- Merret B. Sanders, 90, of Catlin passed away Sunday, April 13, 2014, at Presence Covenant Medical Center, Urbana. He was born June 25, 1923, in Keenes, Ill., to Ray and Zelma Sanders. He married Frances R. Logan on June 12, 1949, in rural L

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • David (Digger) O'Dell David (Digger) O'Dell passed away at home on Friday, April 11, 2014, at the age of 60. Born May 15, 1953, David lived in Danville, Ill., until moving to Covington, La., in 2004. He was an employee of Covington Super Wal-Mart, and formerly employed by

    April 16, 2014

  • OBIT CN 04-16 Tinder L photo Lea Tinder DANVILLE -- Lea Tinder, 71, of Alvin, passed away Monday, April 14, 2014. She was born Nov. 3, 1942, in Danville, the daughter of Albert and Peg Rusk Lyons. She married Gerald Lee Reese on April 21, 1959, in Danville. He has since preceded her in dea

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
NDN Video
Must Read