STERLING – Frank William Merlak Jr., 67, of Sterling, passed away Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014, after a long illness.
He was born Sept. 15, 1946, in Savanna, to Frank and Doris (Hawkins) Merlak. Frank graduated from Milledgeville High School in 1964. He married Vicki Reed on Dec. 4, 1965.
Frank had been a self-employed carpenter, farmer, and restaurant owner of Frankie’s Place in Milledgeville. At the time of his illness, he was employed at E.D. Etnyre in Oregon. Frank loved hunting, fishing, and camping at Timberlake, gardening, cooking, and helping his daughter in her catering business. He was handy, and able to fix almost anything. He enjoyed spending time with his beloved dog, Lucky.
Survivors include his wife, Vicki (Reed) Merlak; one daughter, Michelle (Tom) Neubauer of Milledgeville; two sons, Lonny (Lori) Merlak of Mount Vernon, Iowa, and Heath (Karla) Merlak of Maryville; seven grandchildren, Kenzie and Keegan Neubauer, Alina and Ben Merlak, and Samantha, Matisen, and Ricki Merlak; his mother, Doris Merlak-McCleary of Sterling; and one sister, Rhonda (Lowell) Mest of Gibson City.
He was preceded in death by his father; and sister, Trudie (Jim) Matznick.
Frank will be greatly missed by his family.
Visitation will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at Schilling Funeral Home in Sterling. The funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday at the funeral home, with the Rev. Mark Oehlert, pastor of St. John Lutheran Church in Sterling, officiating. Burial will be at Oak Knoll Memorial Park in Sterling.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial will be established.
Visit www.schillingfuneralhome.com to send condolences.