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Merril William Ness

September 5, 1930 ~ July 22, 2020 (age 89)


Merril William Ness, 89 of Niles passed away on Wednesday, July 22 in the Chalet of Niles.

Merril was born on September 5, 1930 in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

On May 26, 1951 he married Helen M. Druschke who survives.

Merril is preceded in death by his parents and his brother Milton Ness.

He is survived by his wife of 69 years Helen M. Ness and their children; Martin Andrew Ness of Niles and Melinda Ness of Basalt, CO. Merril is also survived by his grandson, Zoran Strong, Merril regarded Chandra Thomas of Niles and Robin Salzer as his daughters, Special Friends; Rosalie Marschke,and Dianna Salzer-Marschke, his brother-in-law Paul Druschke and niece Darre’.

Merril honorably served in the Army.  He then became a Civilian Contractor.  As an Electronics Engineer, he worked at the Yuma Proving Grounds.  Merril helped to develop early versions of GPS and Laser tracking systems. 

In his spare time, he enjoyed wood working and was very accomplished at doing inlay work.  He also loved to read.  Merril enjoyed being outside and could be found rock hunting and camping.  He would make jewelry from the rocks he found.

In keeping with Merril’s wishes, cremation has taken place.  Arrangements have been made at Halbritter Wickens Funeral Services 615 E. Main St. Niles.

Online condolences to the family may be made at

Memorial contributions may be directed to the Alzheimer’s Association at

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