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412 North 7th Street
Phone: (620) 276-3219
Fax: (620) 276-2115
Merle Foos

Merle Dean Foos

Wednesday, September 4th, 1935 - Saturday, November 16th, 2019
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Merle Dean Foos, 84, passed away November 16, 2019 at the Lane County Hospital.

Merle was born September 4, 1935 at LaCrosse, Kansas to Herbert and Martha Helen (Filbert) Foos. They lived on a farm 8 ½ miles NE of Bazine.

When Merle was five years old they moved to Lane County, four miles north and four miles east of Dighton. Their house burned in 1943 and was replaced by a house they moved to the farm, then in 1950 they built a house in Dighton.
Merle attended Iron Bridge Country School for a year and then Alamota School for several years. Upon completing 8th grade from Dighton Grade School he attended Lane County High School and graduated in 1953.

In 1954 he joined the U.S. Army and was sent to Korea where he was stationed in Pusan and Seoul. He spent five months at the 38th Parallel guarding it because there were still snipers around. Upon returning to the United States in February 1956 he owned and managed Merle’s Standard Station in Dighton for nine years.

On February 11, 1967, he married Janis Kay Estes. He worked for Dighton Grain and Pendennis elevators and Mumma Feed Lot. In the late 1970’s he took over the farming and cattle operations from his dad and his father-in-law Banks Estes. He continued farming and ranching until 2018 when he retired. He was a member of the First Christian Church where he served many years as trustee and deacon. He also served on the Dighton COOP Elevator board.

Merle was a hard worker and an excellent farmer (a trait inherited from his Volga German heritage). He was blessed with a wonderful sense of humor and took great pleasure in his family and especially his two grandchildren.

Merle is survived by his wife, Janis, of the home; two sons Mark Taylor and wife Stacey (Minneman) of Dighton and Jeffrey Dean of Hutchinson; grandchildren Regan Taylor Foos and Dylan Douglas Foos; a brother Harley and wife Dee Foos and a sister Patty and husband Don Bartlett all of Wichita. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews. Merle was preceded in death by his parents and an infant brother Virgil Dean.

Funeral service will be at 11:00 AM Thursday at First Christian Church in Dighton with Rev Aerii Smith officiating. Burial will be in Dighton Memorial Cemetery with military rites by Kansas Army National Guard Honor Guard and American Legion Post # 190 Honor Guard. Memorials are suggested to First Christian Church, St Jude Children’s Research Hospital or Shriners Hospitals for Children in care of Boomhower Funeral Home. Friends may call from Noon to 8:00 PM Wednesday at Boomhower Funeral Home in Dighton. Condolences may be posted at

Boomhower Funeral Home 145 North Wichita, Box 891 Dighton, Ks 67839
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Private Condolence

Clint Hanna

Posted at 11:50am
Merle and I were classmates and friends in the 1953 graduating class at Dighton High School. Merle was a LEADER then and he remained one throughout his life. Our paths changed shortly after graduation, Merle became a decorated soldier in Korea and I played ROTC soldier at Kansas State. I caught up with him later on and spent quite a bit of time myself in Korea flying the F-4 Phantom Fighter and I got to see the DMZ more than once myself.
When I came back from an F-4 combat tour in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand in 1970 Merle and Janice invited me to their home in Dighton for a meal and comradery. Everyone was not so kind to returning soldiers at that time and I really appreciated, and still do, their support. Merle was born 14 days after I was born in a sod house in rural Gove County, Kansas in 1935. Merle's German heritage is mirrored by my wife's family who were also Volga Germans who escaped to America in the 1970s. Many of those who did not leave were later killed in the Stalin purges. I am thankful Merle's family and my wife's family had the foresight to leave and come to the "good old USA".
God bless Merle and all his family. Clint Hanna, Col, USAF, Ret

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