Charles Morris Merry, age 88, a resident of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota for more than sixty-six years, passed away on Saturday, September 16, 2023 at Essentia Hospital in Fargo, ND. All his children were present during the week and a half he was at Essentia.
A memorial service celebrating Chuck’s life will be held on Saturday, October 7, 2023 at David-Donehower Funeral & Cremation Service in Detroit Lakes, beginning with visitation at noon, a service at 1:00 and concluding with light refreshments.
Chuck was born December 1, 1934 to Charles and Anne Merry in Duluth, MN. He was the oldest of four children and was very much the big brother, especially after the early death of his father when Chuck was only 13 years old.
Chuck attended school in Duluth, Minnesota, where he was an outstanding student, making National Honor Society in his senior year. He was also a talented (and scouted) high school athlete competing in track, football, basketball and baseball. He continued his education at the University of Minnesota Duluth where he became a member of Beta Phi Kappa fraternity in 1954 and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Art Education and Social Science in 1957.
Upon graduating in 1957, he was hired by the Detroit Lakes, MN school district to teach junior high art, supervise the publication of the Delakonian year book and serve as a full-time assistant coach for football or basketball. He would later teach art at the high school level, coach boys golf and serve as a high school advisor along with Jack Benshoof for the annual Humanist publication, which ran for ten years. Chuck retired from teaching in 1994, but continued to coach boy’s golf. He was named Class AA Minnesota golf coach of the year in 1996 and was inducted into the Minnesota Golf Coaches Hall of Fame in 2002.
You might not know that from 1966 to 1986, Chuck was also the editorial cartoonist for the twice weekly newspapers in Detroit Lakes. He created more than 800 cartoons under the signature “Snick” during those twenty years. His cartoons reflected local, national and international events, news and cultural topics. Many of his cartoons still resonate today.
Chuck took up golf soon after he moved to Detroit Lakes and over the next six decades, he became a fixture at the Detroit Lakes Country Club. He was deeply involved in the annual Pine to Palm Golf Tournament, including serving as the Pine to Palm Tournament Chairman from 1980 to 1993. In 2005, Chuck and his wife Karen jointly received the John P. Rutledge Award for their many years of service and contributions to the tournament. Some of his deepest friendships were made on the golf course.
Chuck met his first wife, June, as a senior in high school. They married in 1956 and had five children, Lynda, Chuck, Denise, Sue and Laura. They divorced in 1973. He later met his second wife, Karen, and they married in 1975. Together they had one daughter, Josie.
Chuck is survived by his children, Lynda Merry (Tom Weiss), Chuck Merry (Cheryl), Sue Fibranz (Lance), Laura Kragness (Scott) and Josie Robinson (Shawn), along with seven grandchildren, Nick Merry (Amber), Levi Merry, Cole Fibranz, Kate Kragness, Anna Kragness, Lucas Robinson and Davis Robinson. He is also survived by one brother, Roger Merry, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Chuck is preceded in death by his wife Karen, parents Charles and Anne Merry, daughter Denise Merry Miller, grandson Kelly Olson, brother Allen and his wife Jean, sister Sharyn Franzinelli and her husband Richard.
Chuck’s family extends their thanks and gratitude to the staff at Essentia Hospital in Fargo, ND, for their attention, kindness and respect while Chuck was in their care.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to The Boys and Girls Club of Detroit Lakes. The Boys and Girls Club was an important organization in Chuck’s childhood, and he has never forgotten the support his family received, especially after his father’s early death.
The family will have a private burial at Chilton Cemetery in Frazee, MN.