Merlin Henry Pipho, age 91, died May 19, 2023 in the Ely Bloomenson Community Hospital surrounded by family.
He was born in 1931 in Denver, IA to the late Ewald and Erna (Steege) Pipho. Merlin is survived by his five children; Brenda Teverbaugh, Bobbi (Mark) Ellenberg, Bill (Penny) Pipho, Mike (Lynn) Pipho, and Patti (Bill) Pipho-Olson. He is also survived by his grandchildren; Krista, Kim, Kris, Neal, Lauren,
Lisa, Jackie, Leslie, Ryan, Kyle, Evan, Sarah, Kristin, Seth and Molly. He was also blessed with many great grandchildren. He is survived by his siblings; sister Elaine (Howard) Gransee, sister Jeannette (Larry) Pettis, brother Norman (Margaret) Pipho, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Merlin was married in 1955 to Jean (Latcham) who preceded him in death in 2002. Sisters Verla Hansen and Velda Jensen,
and brother Donald Pipho also preceded him in death.
Merlin served in the Army from 1952 to 1954 in the Army Signal Corps, traveling throughout Germany repairing radios and trucks. In 1956, he and Jean moved to Ely where he began working for Reserve Mining. A few years later, they built their dream home on the top of the hill where he lived the remainder of his life.
After Reserve closed in 1986, he purchased several road graders and began contract work for the United States Forest Service and the State of Minnesota grading forest roads. This was the perfect mix of work, operating equipment and spending time in the woods and he loved every minute of it. Jean was his side kick, helping him move the camper, cooking meals and doing the paperwork. In his spare time, he and Jean enjoyed many fishing trips both locally and at Red Lake. Merlin was a master woodworker and made many wonderful wood items, not only for his own home and gifts, but for his children and grandchildren.
They have all enjoyed rocking horses, excavators, stools and decorative items over the years and they have become cherished keepsakes to pass down to the great grandchildren. He also enjoyed his time spent with friends over a cup of coffee at Britton's Cafe or out on the four wheelers.
Merlin loved making his home in Ely and didn't feel the need to travel much because he felt he lived in the best place on earth.
He enjoyed helping people fix things and solving problems. He overcame many challenges, and continued to live the life he wanted to.
A celebration of life is being planned for a later date this summer.
The family would like to thank the staff at EBCH for the compassionate care of Merlin during his last stay.
If you wish, donations can be made to the following organizations in Merlin's memory.
Northwoods Partners (https://www.northwoodspartners.org/give) Northwoods Partners, 328 W. Conan St., Ely, MN 55731
St. Louis County Rescue Squad (https://www.slcrs.org/donations) St. Louis County Volunteer Rescue Squad, 5735 Old Miller Trunk Hwy, Hermantown, MN 55811
Graveside services will be held at the Ely Cemetery on Tuesday, May 23 at 11 a.m.
Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.
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