Cover photo for Merlyn R Learing's Obituary
Merlyn R Learing Profile Photo
1948 Merlyn 2022

Merlyn R Learing

February 15, 1948 — November 10, 2022


Merlyn Ralph Learing 74 Of Irene, SD died Thursday November 10, 2022, at Heritage Manor

Nursing Home, Wakonda with Susie, and his sister Gloria by his side.

Merlyn, the third of ten children, was born at Sacred Heart Hospital, Yankton, SD, Sunday, the 15th day of February 1948 to Ralph E and Olive M (Nielson). He was confirmed at Meldal Lutheran Church November 3, 1963. He attended Sletten Country School #55 until the end of 8th grade and transferred into Irene High School where he graduated May of 1966.

On June 17, 1966, Merlyn entered The United States Air Force and was honorably discharge

June 16, 1972.

Merlyn met Susan (Susie) Lee Ellis and they were married April 20th, 1972, at Calvary Lutheran

Church Irene, SD. Merlyn adopted Susie's sons Matt Eugene and Travis Allen. and on December 20, 1975, Micah Ralph was born in Viborg, SD.

This marriage ended June 17, 1996, but Merlyn and Susie have remained life partners.

Merlyn and Susie moved several times but always seemed to come back to Irene, SD, Merlyn’s hometown.

Merlyn held many jobs, He was a Truck Driver for Drotzmann's, Ditch Witch of Rapid City, SD.

Yankton Truck Trailer and had his own shop at CenterPoint and rural Irene.

But, when Merlyn was 43 years old he registered at Lake Area Vocational Technical Institute, Watertown, SD in their Aviation Program. May 28, 1992 - Dec 3, 2007, Merlyn was with "The Red Baron Stearman Squadron" Airshow team. And finally, hauled road oil for Kane Transport, Sauk Centre, MN. Until he retired at age 68.

Merlyn was a member of Calvary Lutheran Church, Irene, SD, a life member of the American Legion Hall Thompson Post #193 Irene, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Marshall, MN. and Disabled American Veterans Garvin, MN.

Survivors include Susie, Matt, Denise & Joshua Dozier of SanAntonio, Texas, Travis & Chris of Farmington, MN. Brittney And fiancé Drew Matheus of Ashland, WI. Brian and Rachel Sweet, of Superior, WI. Kyle and Ryan Roby of Farmington, MN. Micah of Las Vegas, NV. Great Granddaughters Amelia and Summer. Gloria & Larry Kindopp, Sioux Falls, SD, Dennis Learing Sioux Falls, SD, Ardis & Dan Moen Phoenix, AZ. Floyd & RoShiel Learing of Remsen, IA, Mary & Perry Anderson of Coleville, WA. And Greg & Dawn Learing Sioux Falls, SD. Many nieces and nephews. And his beloved Yorkies, Bentley, and Hershey.

He was preceded in death by: His parents, three Brothers Vernon (Jimmy), Robert, Donald, Brother in law Ron Goeken, Sister in law Judy (Jespergaard) Learing three nephews Jonathan, Daniel & Darin.

Visitation will be held November 18, 2022, from 5:00-7:00PM at the Hansen Funeral Home- Irene. A Memorial Service will take place at Calvary Lutheran Church in Irene November 19, 2022 beginning at 10:30AM

A Private burial will be held at South Dakota Veterans Cemetery, 
25965 477th Ave. Sioux Falls, SD with Military graveside rites at a later date, with Merlyn' Great nephew Issac Josephsen playing taps.


To send flowers to the family in memory of Merlyn R Learing, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, November 18, 2022

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Get Directions

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

Calvary Lutheran Church

225 E Main St, Irene, SD 57037

Get Directions

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 1589

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Send a Card

Send a Card