Merkle, Dale

MERKLE, Dale Gordon

Dr. Dale Gordon Merkle Sr., 89, passed away on April 14, 2023, at home in Atlanta, surrounded by his loving family. Dale was born November 12, 1933, in Bay City, Michigan, to the late Emil H. and Jane Marie (Brown) Merkle. He received his BS, MAT, and PhD from Michigan State University, served in the Army, then dedicated his life to education and equality. He taught science education at Shippensburg University. Beyond the classroom, Dale was a passionate advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. He was an active member and leader of PFLAG, including several years as Gulf Regional Director, and once served as Grand Marshall of the Atlanta Gay Pride parade. He was a national board member of the Methodist Federation for Social Action. He loved growing roses and baking.

Dale is survived by his beloved wife of 63 years, Mary Lynn Raymond Merkle; his children, D. Gordon Merkle Jr. (Jimmy Reed), Chris Merkle, and Sarah Merkle (Brian Murphey); his grandchildren, Sam and Zach Murphey; his brother, Bill (Margaret) Merkle; and sister, Carole Schmidt; his siblings-in-law, Anna Merkle, Jane Raymond, Randy (Patti) Raymond; and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews. A celebration of life service will be held May 7, 2023 at 3 PM, at the Central Congregational United Church of Christ in Atlanta. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Georgia Equality or to the Central Congregational UCC Memorial Fund.

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