Merl Jones, 62, died unexpectedly from a heart attack on March 13, 2016. Born in California to Merlyn Jones and Doris Carpenter, Merl graduated in 1971 from Quincy High School and joined the U.S. Army. He left home at 5 feet, 9 inches tall and served three years in Frankfort, Germany, and at Fort Lewis and Fort Hood in Texas. He came out at 6 feet, 4 inches tall.
Merl met and married his first wife Ronda in Arlington, Texas. They had a son named Jeremiah. Merl worked as a foreman for ARA in Dallas. During this time he and his friends formed a band called Rip-Laf. The band was to open for Poison but one of the band members got sick so Panterera got the gig.
Merl later married Tammy and gained a stepdaughter and two more sons, Chris and Zack. The family moved to Washington in 1991. He was a horse farrier for a couple years, and then became a service technician and later a salesman for Food Services of America for 17 years. He had been working for US Foods for the last five years. Merl loved working with people.
Merl was a movie fanatic. He also loved all kinds of music, golfing, biking, traveling, dogs (agility), horses (king pinning in Texas and trail riding), learning new things, playing baseball and spending time with his grandkids. Patience was his strong suit, making him a wonderful teacher. He was always the peacemaker and the calm voice of reason.
He is survived by his parents, Jim and Doris Carpenter; his loving companion, Tina Stafford; his stepchildren, Buddy, Tanner (Aleiha) and Jenifer (Jareb); his children, Jeremiah of Texas and Chris (Susan) and Zack (Francesca) of Utah; his siblings, Kathy Lewis, Tom (Cathy) Jones, Jennifer Jones; and 15 grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by an infant son, Steven, and his father, Merlyn Jones.
The family wanted to share this letter sent from a friend: I learned a lot from him. I learned after the first day I met him that he came across as a simple country boy but he was wicked smart. I learned that he was one of the most honest people I have ever known. I learned that I could trust him all day, and anything we discussed was always kept confidential. I learned he had a great sense of humor. I learned he was very loyal to the people in his life. I learned he was good to every person he met. I learned he loved animals. I learned that he has known a hell more than most people, suffered a lot and dealt with it in a positive way. I learned that he was one of the toughest people I have ever known and he wouldn’t hurt a fly unless he had to.