Merle was born in Vancouver, WA on May 15, 1942, and passed away in Spokane, WA on June 6, 2022.
Merle would like to give very special love to his mother Pearl Thomas (Hassler), father Ralph Thomas, stepfather Ralph Hassler, and his siblings Gary Hassler, and Connie LaBrie. He would also like to thank his grandparents Herb and Jo Thomas, Ida White, and Aunt Vi Dille who all assisted in raising him during his formative years. Merle attended Edison grade school, Libby Jr. High, Central Valley Jr. High, and a short appearance at Lewis and Clark HS.
He met the love of his life, Gloria Knight, at Don’s cafe in 1958 and they were married on January 18, 1960. He joined the Navy in October of 1959 and served on the USS Grapple stationed out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. During their time in Hawaii, Merle & Gloria discovered the Baha’i Faith and the love of Baha’u’llah. This would change their spiritual life forever! Merle was honorably discharged from the Navy in May 1963. He and Gloria returned to Spokane, WA, to settle down and began a family. In 1966 they adopted their son, Brian, and in 1969 their daughter Brenda, they made his life complete along with his grandchildren Jeremy and Natasha Boyd, Joshua and Heather Thomas, and two great-grandchildren, Ayden and Weston Thomas.
From 1963 to 1967 Merle worked for holiday pools, Boyd’s Vacuums selling Rainbow vacuum cleaners, Kaiser Mead plant, Alsco Aluminum, NW building materials, & Great Northern Railroad. In 1967 he went to work for the US Postal Service and during his time there he discovered one of his favorite jobs was working as a philatelic clerk there he promoted Stamp collecting in the Spokane Area. After retiring in 1998, Gloria and Merle went on cruises and stayed the summers at West Bay Park on Deer Lake.
Merle is survived by his wife, Gloria Thomas; daughter Brenda Boyd and son-in-law Marvin Boyd; son Brian Thomas and daughter-in-law Sharon Thomas; grandchildren Jeremy and Natasha Boyd and Joshua and Heather Thomas; great-grandchildren Ayden and Weston Thomas; his brother Gary Hassler and sister Connie LaBrie.
A Memorial service will be held at Heritage Funeral Home on Saturday June 18th at 2 PM, 508 N Government Way, Spokane, WA.
Published by Spokesman-Review on Jun. 12, 2022.
34465541-95D0-45B0-BEEB-B9E0361A315ATo plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.