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Merrill Davis

February 24, 1929 February 20, 2020
Merrill Davis
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Obituary for Merrill Davis

Merrill Davis, 90, of Peoria moved to his heavenly home on February 20, 2020. He was born in New London, CT, on February 24, 1929, to Roxie Marie (Whitmore) and Russell Clark Davis.

Merrill served in the U.S. Army, spending time in Japan during World War II where he was awarded two medals. After his discharge he graduated from Cleveland Bible College, became an ordained minister, and served churches in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York – even pastoring a small group in his senior living home in his 80’s. He was most recently a member of Bradley Epworth Methodist Church. Pastor Merrill loved sharing the gospel of his Lord and went on mission trips to many countries, including South Korea, Japan, Haiti, and Peru.


Merrill was blessed with two loving marriages. He married Emma Jane Drummond in 1950 in Elkins, West Virginia; they were blessed with one daughter, Mary Jane (Dave) Moder. Mrs. Davis passed away in 1978. He was later married to Margaret Markel in Pennsylvania, where he was welcomed by her children Eugene Markel, Melanie (Jeff) Miller, and Les (Deb) Markel. They were married from 1984 until her passing in 2008.

He was preceded in death by Jane, Margaret, stepson Eugene Markel, granddaughter Emily Markel, as well as siblings Russell, Frederick, Kenneth, Lawrence, Marie, Robert and Lillian (all Davis).

Merrill is survived by Mary Jane, Melanie and Les; grandchildren Dr. Jennifer (Dr. John Bell) Moder-Bell, Adam Miller, Jacob Miller, Jason Markel, Joe Markel, and Jamie Markel; and four great-grandchildren. He is also survived by dear friend and “adopted son” Dr. Al Nachowicz.

Visitation will be Saturday, March 14 at 10:00 at Bradley Epworth Methodist Church, followed by a celebration of life memorial service at 11:00. Interment of ashes will be in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be given to the OSF Healthcare Foundation designated for the Sisters of the Poor, OSF Hospice, or Bradley Epworth Methodist Church designated for missions.

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