Merle E. Amundson


Heaven received another soul when Merle Edward Amundson, 81, passed away on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 at Hancock Regional Hospital from complications of a recent stroke.

He was born on August 21, 1936 in Sioux Falls, S.D. to the son of E.P. and Marjorie (Lifto) Amundson. Merle graduated from Colton (S.D.) High School in 1954. He received his bachelors from South Dakota State University in 1958, married his sweetheart Avis Yvonne Schneekloth soon thereafter, then travelled east together so that he could obtain both his masters and Ph.D. (1961) from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy in Boston.

He began his career as a chemist at Eli Lilly & Co., working there his entire career with numerous publications to his name and retiring after 33 years with the company, most recently at the level of Executive Director. Merle was a very active member of his church and community. He served faithfully in many capacities at St. James Lutheran Church, where he proudly sang in the choir for many years. In addition, he was a member of the Greenfield Sertoma Club, a past-president and Sertoman of the Year honoree; Board of Directors, Boys & Girls Club of Hancock County; and a strong advocate for youth baseball in this area. In 1989, he received the honor of Distinguished Alumnus from South Dakota State University in recognition of his dedication and service to the pharmacy profession.

Merle enjoyed golfing, working in his yard and watching his grandchildren participate in their many activities. He also liked baseball, playing at both the high school and college levels while always cheering on his beloved New York Yankees. Most of all, he loved his Lord and his family.

Merle is survived by his wife of over 59 years, Avis Amundson of Greenfield; three sons, Eric (Tracie) Amundson of Greenfield, Dr. Paul (Dr. Alison Tendler) Amundson of Sioux Falls, S.D. and Peter (Polly) Amundson of Westfield, IN; brother, Dr. Loren (Mavis) Amundson of Sioux Falls, S.D.; sister, Lynn (Gordy) Boldt of Bloomington, M.N.; ten grandchildren, Mathew, Jacob, Jenna, Nicholas, Mia, Austin, Blake, Eliana, Amy and Austin; and numerous loving nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, E.P. and Marjorie Amundson; sister, Carol Dierks; and nephew, Mark Amundson.

Visitation will be held on Friday, December 8, 2017, from 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Erlewein Mortuary & Crematory, 1484 W. US Hwy. 40, Greenfield, IN 46140. A funeral service will be held on Saturday, December 9, 2017, at 11:00 a.m., at St. James Lutheran Church, 1741 S. State Street, Greenfield, IN 46140. Pastor Larry Gember will be officiating. Interment will occur at a later date in Colton, South Dakota.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions may be made by mail to the South Dakota State University Foundation, 815 Medary Ave., Box 525, Brookings, SD 57007 or to St. James Lutheran Church, 1741 S. State Street, Greenfield, IN 46140. Envelopes will be available at the mortuary and church.

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