Merlin Ray Batdorff, 89, of Tiffin, passed away Wednesday afternoon, May 15, 2013, after a long illness.
He was born May 3, 1924, in Cleveland, to Thomas and Edith (O'Hara) Batdorff. Merlin graduated from Akron North High School and entered the U.S. Army, where he served with the 152nd Infantry, 38th Division in the Pacific arena during World War II. He participated in the battles of New Guinea, Leyte and Luzon and received the Bronze Star for valor, along with many other combat medals. Upon returning home from the war, he met and married Elaine Jameson Aug. 24, 1946.
Merlin managed Hawkinson's Tire and Retread for his father before founding and operating Batdorff Tire and Tread, Tiffin, for many years. He later became a real estate broker, founded Batdorff Real Estate and also built his new house when in his 70s. In addition to his entrepreneurial spirit, he was a special deputy sheriff, a member of Kiwanis, VFW Tiffin Post No. 2858 and Shriners. He loved a good joke, roller coasters, the Buckeyes and riding little cars in parades.
In addition to his wife of 66 years, Elaine, Merlin is survived by two children, Susan Riley of Tiffin and Sandy (Lou) Petros of Mount Vernon; two grandchildren, Rick (Amanda) Riley and Brent (Molly) Riley; two stepgrandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and two stepgreat-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Emerson Batdorff.
Burial took place at Pleasant Ridge Egbert Cemetery, Tiffin.
A casual celebration of life memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 13, 2013, at First Christian Church, 2016 S. CR 19, Tiffin, OH 44883, (419) 447-3731. Pastor Doug DeVos will be officiating. A luncheon will follow the service.
Memorials may be made to Bridge Home Health & Hospice or the charity of donor's choice.
Hoffmann-Gottfried-Mack Funeral Home & Crematory is assisting the family with arrangements.
Condolences may be sent and the guestbook signed at www.hgmackfuneralhome.com.