Merle R. Teel


May 6, 2014

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Merle R. Teel, 94, of West Lafayette, died Tuesday, May 6, 2014. He was born January 7, 1920, the son of the late Frank R. Teel and Minnie Ida Dike Teel. Merle was the sixth of seven children and all have preceded Merle in passing this life. The family consisted of five boys and two daughters; Mary Alice, Wayne, Eldon, Deryl, Eva Mae, Merle and Donald. Living close relatives of Merle include two daughters Maggie Miller of West Chester, PA; and Keri Lee of St. Louis, MO, both born of Merle’s first wife, Ruth Bourn of Lexington, NE. Following Ruth’s untimely demise in 1966, Merle married Elizabeth J. Puckett of West Lafayette. From a previous marriage, Elizabeth provided two step sons, Michael and Jeffrey Puckett. Merle graduated from the Nebraska School of Agriculture in Curtis, Nebraska in 1936. Having earned a certificate to teach school, he found opportunities at the South Brush School near Maywood, and in the McPherson County Public School in Tryon, Nebraska. He was drafted for military duty in February 1942, eventually serving as a forward observer with the 45th Infantry Division in Germany. After earning two degrees, in Agronomic Science from the University of Nebraska and a PHD from Purdue University in 1956, he joined the faculty of Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN. Merle taught pasture management and conducted research dealing with mineral nutrition and metabolism in crop plants. In 1968, Merle became employed by the University of Delaware serving as the initial Chairperson for the newly formed Plant Science Department. Merle retired in 1989 and returned to West Lafayette, IN where he, along with his wife, Elizabeth, could renew fellowship with former friends. Visitation will be 1 hour prior to a 1:00 pm service Saturday, at The Federated Church, West Lafayette, with Pastor John Williams officiating. Burial will be at Tippecanoe Memory Gardens, West Lafayette. In lieu of flowers memorials to the Federated church College Scholarship Fund or Handbell fund .