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Merlin 'Merle' LaRose of Chester

  • Merlin "Merle" LaRose

    Merlin "Merle" LaRose

updated: 9/9/2020 1:14 PM

Merlin "Merle" E. LaRose, 87, of Chester, Illinois, passed away at 2:52 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 7, 2020 at Southeast Hospital in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

He was born to the late Jesse R. and Rose Mary (nee Blechle) LaRose on Dec. 12, 1932 in Biehle, Missouri.

Merle married Wilma Kuehne on Aug. 27, 1955 in Chester, and she survives.

He worked many years in pipeline construction management across the United States, Canada and Alaska, and helped build the Alaskan Pipeline. He also worked and retired from Chester Mental Health Center.

Merle was a member of Mary Help of Christians Catholic Church in Chester. He was also a member of the Eagles Club Aerie #3252 for over 48 years, serving as secretary and treasurer for 26 years. He was a member of the Perryville American Legion Post #133 for over 54 years. He enjoyed socializing and taking care of his yard.

He was a Korean War U.S. Army veteran.

Merle is survived by his wife, Wilma LaRose, of Chester; one son, Mark (Lisa) LaRose of Chester; two daughters, Tina (Mark) Wolff of Gatlinburg, Tennessee and Kim (Ed) Holsapple of Chester; a brother, John (Regina) LaRose of Perryville, Missouri; a sister, Mary Ann Wucker, of Perryville, Missouri; eight grandchildren, Danielle (Jason) Holland, Jason Wolff, Dawn LaRose, Ronda LaRose, Kelsee (Lucas) Gibbs, Mandy (Tim) Jones, Heather Holsapple and Tasha (Mike) Fitch; nine great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.

Merle was preceded in death by his parents; one daughter, Ronda LaRose; and two brothers, Robert and Donald LaRose.

It was Merle's wish to be cremated.

A memorial service will begin at 11 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 11, 2020 at Pechacek Funeral Homes in Chester, with Father Iuvenis Iheme officiating.

Visitation will be held prior to the service, from 9 to 11 a.m., also at the funeral home.

A private inurnment will be held at St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery.

The funeral home is limited to 25 people in the building at one time. They ask that everyone wears a mask and use social distancing guidelines.

Memorials are suggested to St. Mary's Catholic School in Chester.

To view this obituary and sign the register book, visit

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