Services set for Karl Merritt, ‘Voice of the Spartans’

Manchester University President Dave McFadden sent out an email to faculty and staff Tuesday:

I am saddened to report that Karl Merritt, 76, director emeritus of conference services, died Sunday after a long illness. Many of you remember Karl as the “Voice of the Spartans” at football and men’s and women’s basketball games for more than 30 years. In fact, he had many roles at Manchester, starting as the Union director in 1977 and serving as the head men’s basketball coach from 1979 to 1981 and the assistant coach from 1977 to 1979 and 1981 to 1983. From 1984 to 1991, Karl was director of alumni and college relations and from 1991 until his retirement in 1996 was director of conference services.  Karl received the Alumni Service Award in 1984 and, in 1999, was inducted into the Manchester Athletic Hall of Fame.

Karl moved to North Manchester as a teenager and played basketball as a college student at Manchester, graduating in 1960. From 1962 to 1977 he taught social studies at Manchester High School, where he also coached football, basketball and baseball.

Karl was a member of the Manchester Church of the Brethren and had been active in many civic organizations, including Rotary International, the North Manchester Historical Society and the Chamber of Commerce. He had served on the school board and town council. He and his wife, Bonnie Dee, were named North Manchester Citizens of the Year in 2003.

Bonnie Dee survives, along with two children and three grandchildren. Friends may call from 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the Manchester Church of the Brethren and one hour prior to the service at 3 p.m. Sunday at the church. The family asks that memorials be made to the Karl F. and Bonnie Dee Merritt Scholarship Endowment at the Community Foundation of Wabash County to benefit Manchester University students.

Arrangements are being handled by Grandstaff-Hentgen Funeral Service Inc.

November 25, 2014




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