Merlin Owen Wirt
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Merlin Owen Wirt
He was born Jan. 12, 1946, in Sunbury, a son of the late Lynn A. and Bernice (Lebo) Wirt. He was married to the former Joann Mae Hartman.
Merlin graduated from Mahanoy Joint High School in 1963 where he played football, wrestled, and had a great passion for both sports. He then graduated from Williamsport Technical Institute in 1965 and then served in the Navy until 1967.
He was a welder at Alfa Laval in Lykens for 37 years until his retirement in 2008. Merlin also worked as an auctioneer for 25 years, partnering with Mark Seiler and then with Ken "Crock" Erdman.
A highlight of his life was as head coach of the Mahanoy Vikings midget football team of the AMFL where in 1979 the team went 7-0-1 and was the first undefeated team since the inception of the league. He coached from 1978 to 1983. Currently, the Line Mountain "Little" Eagles present the "Mo Wirt" Defensive Player of the Year Award in his honor.
In 2009, after retiring, Merlin and Joann, took a much anticipated 5-week trip to tour the "Old West". He was still telling stories about that trip. Everyone who met Merlin was entertained by his ability to "tell stories" as well as his sharp sense of humor.
Merlin was a member of the St. Peters Lutheran Church, Red Cross and attended Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Hunter Station. He was also a member of the Herndon Fire Company, Short Mountain Gun Club, and a former member of Sharp Shooters Rod and Gun Club.
Merlin enjoyed horses, trap shooting, gun collecting, hunting and fishing, and spending time at the family's recently purchased cabin. One of his biggest pleasures was attending his grandchildren's sporting events of which he rarely missed, no matter how far away, until his illness kept him from traveling and doing the things he enjoyed in life.
Merlin is survived by his patient and devoted wife Joann of 53 years; one son, Tim and wife Jane of Potts Grove; son, Andy and wife Heather of Sunbury; grandsons, Cole, Blake and Brock Wirt; granddaughter, Lillian Wirt; stepgrandsons, Nick Linn and wife Jessica of Hummelstown and Nathanial Linn of Las Vegas, Nev.; and four stepgreat-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Lynn and Bernice; and sister, Kathy.
Friends and family are invited to celebrate his life at a memorial service at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 16, at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Route 225, Hunter Station, with Pastor Glen B. Keidel Jr., officiating. A visitation will be held from 9 to 10 a.m. prior to the service. A reception will follow at the IOOF Mahanoy Lodge 551, 4207 Route 225, Dornsife.
In lieu of flowers, donations in "Mo's" memory may be made to Evangelical Hospice, 1 Hospital Drive, Lewisburg, PA 17837, or Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Route 225, Hunter Station, PA 17823.
Cremation services have been entrusted to the Robert G. Foust Jr. Funeral Home, 841 W. Shamokin St., Trevorton.
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