Obituary: Merle C. Hitchings, age 91, passed away May 14th, 2021 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, He was born May 24th, 1929 to Roy and Una Hitchings in Climax, MI.
He graduated from Climax High School in 1948, where he was an exceptional athlete in football and baseball. Later (1999) he was inducted into the Climax-Scotts Athletic Boosters Hall of Fame. Merle served as a Corporal in the United States Army in the Korean War from 1950-1952. On September 28th, 1962 he married Dorothy J. McKinney. Merle retired from James River after 35 years of service. He was a Chaplain and Commander for the American Legion Post 465. Merle enjoyed Hunting, Fishing, Bowling, Shooting Trap, and Snowmobiling. Once retired, he spent his time camping, traveling, and volunteering in his community. Totally devoted to his family, he made it his top priority to never miss an event that his children, grandchildren, or great grandchildren participated in. Merle had many passions, but sports and being a mentor to the younger generation were important to him. Having had a strong focus on opportunities and sportsmanship. He loved to watch someone build confidence and to see a team come together.
He is survived by Daughter Ricci (Dan) Longman; Grandchildren Dan (Cheryl) Cobb, Sarah (Jamie) Smith, Darcy (Josh Gilkey) Simmons, Michele Beaver, Tammie (Chad) Bard, Mikey Hitchings, Jamie (Ben) Trudeau, Bill Cobb; 18 great grandchildren; and many Nieces and Nephews.
Preceded in death by his parents; two brothers and one sister; Wife Dorothy; Son Mike Hitchings; Daughter Sheryll Cobb.
Visitation with the family will be held Friday May 21st, 2021 at the American Legion Post 465 in Climax, MI from 2-4pm and 6-8pm. Services will be held Saturday May 22nd, 2021 at 1:00pm at the American Legion in Climax. Full military honors will be held directly after the service at Prairie Home Cemetery. Directly following will be a luncheon provided at the American Legion in Climax