Merrill B. Ingelstrom

March 7, 1935July 8, 2018
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Our dad, Merrill B. Ingelstrom, once again put on his dancing shoes and joined our mom in heaven on July 8, 2018 at the age of 83. He was born on March 7, 1935 to Fredolph Theodore and Mildred Fontella (Berry) Ingelstrom in Ogden, UT. He was welcomed by his older brother, Jimmy. Dad grew up in Shelley, where he enjoyed hunting, fishing and basketball. He always laughed that music wasn’t his thing as he took the money his mom gave him for accordion lessons, paid the teacher and went fishing instead.

Merrill attended Idaho State University for a year and half. Upon his return, he worked in the M & F Club, a cigar store, that his dad owned. On June 2, 1957, he married Marlene Selma Lenz in Ashton, ID. They were married 44 years before her passing in 2001. Their family consisted of three daughters and one adopted daughter. Vicki (Jeff) Miller-Ingelstrom, Debbie Brady, Wendy (Scott) Reed and JoAnn (Bill) Flagler.

In 1964, Merrill bought Fords Bar, along with his brother Jimmy and good friend, Ralph Ingram. He had bartended since he was sixteen after lying about his age. Anyone who has been to Fords would recall his loud and robust laugh echoing throughout the bar. Being a devote Christian and elder at St. John’s Lutheran church, Merrill never saw a conflict with owning a bar. He presided over many wedding receptions and wakes at Fords. He went to the hospital bedsides of sick people from his church and from the bar. After 33 years, the bar was sold leaving a void in the history of Idaho Falls.

Merrill committed himself to the second love of his life, Judy Thomas on July 1, 2012. They enjoyed years of laughter and fun traveling and playing slot machines anywhere they could find one to play. Judy provided our dad with all the love and support until he passed. She has truly been a God-send to not only our dad but our entire family. Judy brought to our family a son Matt Thomas (the brother we always hoped for) and one grandson Nicholas.

Merrill passed on his legacy of the importance of family to his nine grandkids: Megan (Josh) Weaver, Ryan Brady, Michael Brady, Seth Ingelstrom, Marlissa Reed, Austin Reed, Laurie (Chris) DeKorver, Douglas Flagler and Nicholas Thomas. Also, to his six great-grandkids: Jeremiah, Jayden, Rylan, Finley, Jake, and Grace. Merrill took the family on numerous fishing/hunting trips, cruises and vacations. He always taught us it was more important to create memories than acquiring possessions in life. Merrill was preceded in death by his wife, parents, brother, and infant sister.

There is an opportunity to meet with Merrill’s family on Friday, July 13th from 6:00 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Buck Miller Hann Funeral Home located at 825 E. 17th Street in Idaho Falls. A funeral will be held Saturday, July 14th at 11:00 a.m. at St. John’s Lutheran church located at 290 Seventh Street in Idaho Falls. Arrangements made under the direction of Buck Miller Hann Funeral Home. Online condolences can be left at


  • Visitation Friday, July 13, 2018
  • Funeral Saturday, July 14, 2018
  • Burial Saturday, July 14, 2018

Merrill B. Ingelstrom

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Natalie Valenti

August 6, 2018

Such a wonderful neighbor to grow up next to. I have many memories of playing in this yard, watching his dog, and babysitting his grandkids. My first ever car was his before it was mine. Loved and missed. This year I planted rhubarb in my yard because of the fond memory of a big rhubarb plant he had in the back yard along the fence line. My condolences to his friends and family. Merrily was such a great guy.

Cindy Grimes

July 16, 2018

Our heartfelt condolences to Merrill's family. May the word of God and the good memories you shared bring comfort, peace the a hope for the future.
Kind regards, Cindy

Kenny Wold

July 14, 2018

Merrill would take us knuckleheads fishing in Montana,hunting birds by Mud Lake somewhere and that infectious laughter whenever he would be telling one of his great stories will always endear him to my heart. . I remember one of the bartenders would answer the phone “ Fords Bay on ‘A’.” ....Had that right. Such class.

Clark Jaynes M.D.

July 13, 2018

A dear friend who will be missed. I will always remember his laugh that could light up room. RIP

Diane Hart-Nelson

July 13, 2018

Judy, I want to express my deepest sympathies for the passing of your dear husband. I am so sorry. You introduced him to me at Perkins shortly after you were married, and I saw the two of you a few times since then at that very place!! He seemed like such a nice person and you both always looked so incredibly happy. I am so glad that you found someone so special to share life with, however short, that is a true blessing. I will have you and your family in my thoughts and in my heart at this time. Sincerely with love, Diane Hart Nelson

Deanna Lenz

July 13, 2018

Uncle Merrill was such a kind great man and you can not think about him without hearing his laugh and seeing his smile for miles around. He will be missed by all of the nieces and nephews that were lucky enough to call him Uncle.

Bryan and I have you in our hearts and prayers for the family and friends that share our grief and amazing memories.

Love you much,

Bryan, Brooke, Tyler, Justin, Jacey, Trystan and Jaydin Lenz
Will and Deanna Lenz Hampton


Merrill - Age 4