SPRINGFIELD – Merle K. Buerkett, age 80, of Springfield, IL died peacefully at his home surrounded by his family on Saturday, April 11, 2009, at 3 p.m.
He was born in Salisbury, IL on November 5, 1928, the son of Emmett S. and Nellie Enders Buerkett. He was raised by his grandparents, Toney and Mamie Enders. He married Rita L. Bellows on January 10, 1953.
Preceding him in death are his parents and 3 brothers, Ray, Jim and Bob Buerkett.
Surviving are his wife, Rita L.; 4 children, Merle A. Buerkett of Athens, Lorilea Buerkett (William Metz) of Springfield, William Tracy (Lynn) Buerkett of Hendersonville, TN, and Michelle Buerkett (Michael Kovarik) of Springfield; 7 grandchildren, Melissa, Kelly and Abigail Buerkett, Briana (James) Skipper and Elysia Blanchfield and Stephanie and Mason Alford; 2 sisters, Shirley Sebastion of Mattoon and Jean Cole of Tombol, TX; several nieces and nephews; and 4 cousins.
He was a member of St. Agnes Church, life member of Elks #158, VFW Post 755 and a former member of Operating Engineers. A Springfield, IL resident most of his life, he was a self-employed wrecking contractor, landfill owner and operator. His greatest accomplishment and chief joy was designing, building and operating Long Bridge Golf Course, which he opened in May of 1998. He was a United States Army veteran who served as a sergeant in the Korean War in 1951-52.
Visitation will be held from 4-7 p.m. on Monday, April 13, 2009, at Staab Funeral Home. Funeral services will be at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 14, 2009, at Staab Funeral Home with Rev. Anthony Pilli officiating. Burial will be in Camp Butler National Cemetery, where the Sangamon County Interveterans Burial Detail will conduct military honors. Memorials may be made to St. John’s Hospital for cancer research.
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