Merlin D. Dunahoo, age 75, died peacefully after an almost 11-year battle with cancer. He grew up in Iowa, graduating from Maxwell High School where he was a sprinter on the track team and member of the Future Farmers of America. His education continued after a 22-year career with the United States Air Force, graduating from Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos in August 1994 with a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences.
His military career assignments included Montgomery, Alabama; Tainan, Taiwan; Charleston, South Carolina; Saigon, Vietnam; Okinawa, Japan; Ramstein, Germany which included multiple TDYs in Norway; and bases in San Antonio and Austin, Texas. He loved to experience the local culture wherever he was sent and passed that love for world travel to his children and grandchildren.
Civilian careers found him in fleet maintenance and management for the City of Austin and Austin Independent School District before refocusing on data management solutions for Tad Technical, Solectron and Flextronics. He also taught community courses in auto mechanics and various computer software programs.
Merlin served the Boy Scouts of America as a Webelos Den Leader and Troop Scoutmaster at various times and locations over a span of 20 years. He enjoyed camping, boating and fishing with the family as well, and was a strong member of the Split Personalities team of the Texas Hospital Association bowling league. He liked going to baseball games, whether it was a grandson playing, the UT Longhorns, the Round Rock Express, the Houston Astros or Texas Rangers.
He enjoyed many hours with a metal detector in hand, hoping to find a bit of history or a few coins, just for fun. He researched family genealogies and shared his findings with relatives and friends, and uploaded over 2000 data elements to the Find a Grave website to aid others in their exploration of their family tree.
Merlin was a very active member of Gethsemane Lutheran Church, serving as Vice President of the Men in Mission group and video recording worship services and conversations by the pastor. His video ministry provided an “in the pew” experience for many years, and was especially important during the COVID pandemic. He was an active member of the Gethsemane Food Pantry team and enjoyed helping those in need of assistance by truly living generously.
It was love at first sight when he met Linda, his wife of 56 years, when they were juniors in rival high schools. They married in June 1966, right after basic training for the USAF and traveled the world together. In addition to Linda, he is survived by their four children: Brian (Trisha) of Moody, Texas; Lana Brock of Pflugerville, Texas; Dana Johnson (Joe Dan) of Horseshoe Bay, Texas; and Jeff (Stacey) also of Pflugerville. Ten grandchildren: Lindsey, Kaitlyn, Mitchell, Marley and Dylan Dunahoo; Zach and Lizzie Brock; Jody Johnson; Joshua and Zachary Parrish and his new great grandson Elijah Jay Parrish. He is also survived by a brother Jerald Dunahoo (Gay) of Ames, Iowa, many cousins and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Dale and Virginia Walker Dunahoo and son-in-law Richard Brock, Jr.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Gethsemane Lutheran Church, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation in support of veterans and their caregivers, or to a charity of your choice.
A visitation for Merlin will be held Friday, April 7, 2023 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Cook-Walden/Capital Parks Funeral Home, 14501 North Interstate 35, Pflugerville, Texas 78660. A funeral service will occur Saturday, April 8, 2023 at 10:00 a.m., at Gethsemane Lutheran Church, 200 W. Anderson Lane, Austin, Texas 78752. A committal service will follow at Cook-Walden/Capital Parks Cemetery in Pflugerville, Texas 78660.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.cookwaldencapitalparks.com for the Dunahoo family.