Merlin D. Petty, 82, died Saturday, June 4, 2011, at St. Francis Hospital in Wichita, KS.
He was born Jan. 21, 1929, to Ivon T. and Grace K. (Dubbs) Petty in Buckeye, AZ.
While a baby, his family returned to Ransom, KS. to assist his grandparents, who operated a telephone office in Arnold, KS.
His freshman year of high school his family moved to Utica, KS. where he played basketball. His team, the Utica Dragons, was the only team in school history to go undefeated during the regular season.
After graduating from Utica High in 1947, he attended school at Kansas State University, but was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1949. He served in the army during the Korean Conflict and was stationed in South Korea and Japan.
Upon his discharge from the army in 1953 he moved to Wichita, KS. where he attended Wichita State University and worked for Boeing Industries.
In 1955 he moved to Liberal and operated the Culligan water softening business along with his brother Norman Petty. Several years later he also worked in the oilfield and operated Liberal Portable Steam Co.
Merlin enjoyed the gift of gab during his latter years and he took great joy discussing politics, sports, and many other topics of interest with his fellow buddies at the local coffee shop.
He had a great love of all sports and he enjoyed traveling as well; having been to all but three U.S. states. His travels also included Mexico, Canada, Korea, and Japan.
He married Ann (Mahuron) Harris on Aug. 21, 1958 at the Methodist Church in Liberal. Upon this union, he legally adopted Ann’s six year old daughter Becky; whom was born from a previous marriage. To this union there were also two sons, Rex and Ray.
He is survived by his wife Ann Petty; one daughter, Becky Prado and husband, Javier, El Paso, TX; two sons, Rex Petty and wife Eydie, Liberal; Ray Petty and wife Millie, Liberal; eight grandchildren, Reid Petty, Ryan Petty, Ramey Petty, and Zack Petty, Liberal; Reece Petty, Lawrence, KS; Emily Prado, Seattle, Wash.; Tahmzen Prado, Kenosha, Wis.; and James Prado, Moscow, Id.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his step-father Charles Roach, and two brothers, Norman Petty and Don Petty.
Funeral service will be at 10a.m., Wednesday, June 8, 2011 at Faith Tabernacle Church, 514 N. Kansas Ave., Liberal, with the Rev. Rex Petty presiding.
Burial will follow at the Liberal Cemetery.