Murle Lee Gearhart's spirit departed from his earthly body to be with Jesus on June 15, 2017.
He was born Sept. 23, 1920, at Iola, Kan., to John and Ruby (Anderson) Gearhart.
He spent his early years attending school in the Chanute, Kan., area. Murle enlisted in the Army in 1942. He served in battle and campaigns of Normandy, Rhineland, Northern France, and Central Europe. He received an EAME Theater Ribbon and four Bronze Service Stars, an American Theater Ribbon, World War II Victory Ribbon, and a Good Conduct Medal.
He was honorably discharge Nov. 20, 1945, then re-enlisting on the same day as a military escort to bring his World War II fallen comrades back to their families. He was honorably discharged a second time October 19, 1948.
Murle and Ethel were united in marriage July 28, 1943. From this union three children were conceived, Melvin Murle Gearhart, Mona Marie (Gearhart) Lemley, and Monty Murlin Gearhart.
The premature death of Ethel Oct. 14, 1984, left Murle missing a large part of his heart. Murle found his second love and married Linda Smith on Nov. 1, 1986.
This resulted in four children adopting Murle as their father, Joseph E. Smith, Virginia M. Bowman, Lyle E. Smith, and Vicki Kolbeck.
Murle had a passion for woodworking. Family and friends received many handmade gifts such as toy boxes, shadow boxes, jewelry boxes and etc. Murle loved wood so much, there was never any danger of being cold in his home.
Murle loved the outdoors, whether he was fishing, hunting, or sleeping on the porch swing. Murle, aka Mr. Wilson, was known for his orneriness, joking and pulling pranks.
He is survived by his wife, Linda of the home; Monty and partner in life Becky Allen; Troy Lemley; Joseph and Merry Smith; Virginia and Brian Bowman; Lyle E. Smith, his baby girl Vicki and Myron Kolbeck; 16 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren, and five great-great-grandchildren.
Also three brothers, Nelson Gearhart, Frank Gearhart, and F.L. Gearhart. And his family by choice includes Kenny Alkire Sr., Carolyn Booher, Jeff Jardot, Dawn Jardot, Kevin Jardot, and Tyler Jardot, aka Dennis the Menace.
Murle was preceded in death by an infant brother, Carl Lavern Gearhart; his wife Ethel (Synder) Gearhart; a grandson Mark Lemley; his daughter Mona Lemley; his son Melvin Gearhart; and a sister, Aleene Hill.
Murle will be missed by all whose lives he touched.
A celebration of life is planned for August 12, 2017, at Indian Creek Winery.
Published on July 1, 2017