Celebrating the life of Merlin W. Heslop
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Rockford - Merlin W. Heslop, 84, of rural Rockford-Winnebago, died Friday afternoon, December 21, 2007, in Rockford Memorial Hospital, after a courageous battle with cancer. Born February 5, 1923, in Sioux City, Iowa, the son of Clarence and Vallie (Lee) Heslop. He graduated from Leeds High School, Iowa. He served in the U.S. Army from January 28, 1943 until January 26, 1946. Merlin married his high school sweetheart, Alice DeWall, of 68 years. He was a self-employed building contractor nearly all his life. He was a member of Evergreen Covenant Church, in Rockford, and the Local Carpenter's Union. Merlin was extremely musically talented, playing a variety of instruments, along with the keyboards and singing. He also enjoyed telling stories about the good old days and woodworking in his shop.
Merlin was dedicated to his family and is lovingly survived by his wife, Alice Heslop of Rockford; four sons, Dewey (Lois) Heslop of Pecatonica, Don (Pat) Heslop of Lake Summerset, David (Shirley) Heslop of Winnebago and Gary (Diane) Heslop of Rockford; two daughters, Cindy (Bob) Hunter of Pecatonica and Karen (Larry) Anderson of Rockford; 20 grandchildren; 32 great-grandchildren; brother, Delbert (Bea) Heslop of Detroit, Mich.; sister, Glada Foster of Winnebago; grother-in-law, Joe Lemek of Loves Park; stepmother, Gladys Heslop of Michigan and several nieces and nephews.
Merlin is predeceased by his mother, Vallie; father, "Gramps"; grandson, Douglas Heslop; guardian great-grandson, David Riffe, Jr.; sister, Arlene Lemek; brother-in-law, Al Foster; sister-in-law, Marie Heslop and niece, Mardel Heslop.
Service is at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, December 27, 2007, in Genandt Funeral Home, 602 N. Elida St., Winnebago, with Pastor James Schwalm, of Evergreen Covenant Church in Rockford and Pastor John Wesley Lee, of Faith United Methodist Church in Freeport, co-officiating. Burial in Twelve Mile Grove Cemetery, in Pecatonica. Visitation 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, December 26, 2007 in the funeral home.