Jean Ketola Merkle was born August 15, 1939 in Ithaca, New York to Henry and Viena Ketola. She is survived by sons, Donnie Merkle of Arlington, Texas and Ashley Merkle of Stephenville, Texas; twin sister, Joan Watros and brothers, George and David Ketola of New York; and three grandsons, Christopher, Lance, and Nicholas.
Jean’s early years were spent in Upstate New York. After moving with the family to Oregon, Maryland, and Arizona, the family returned to New York where Jean graduated as Salutatorian of her high school class.
She eventually met her husband, Morris, on a blind date and after the second date, they each knew the other was “it” and married in 1961. When Morris graduated from Cornell, they moved to the Bryan College Station area. Morris was a professor at A&M and Jean had the important job of stay-at-home mom for their three children. All the children graduated from A&M, as did a grandson, and another who is still attending.
Jean was involved in numerous social clubs and gained many life-long friends. She loved to play games, Bridge being her favorite, and taking neighborhood walks with her friends. The Merkle home was the neighborhood sports center and she provided snacks, drinks, and not only cheered everyone on, but also nursed the occasional small injury.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Henry and Viena Ketola; husband, Morris Merkle of Lincoln, Alabama; and daughter, Paige Merkle of College Station.
The family extends heartfelt thanks to Jean’s many friends, for all the visits, cards, calls, and well wishes in the past few months; she appreciated them all and cherished each and every one of you!