Merlin Rohde, retired local contractor, left this earth on Thursday, Dec. 10, at his home in Panaca. He had undergone several surgeries to remove malignant melanoma from his ear and lymph glands, and in the last five weeks of his life, he was on oral chemotherapy treatment. The melanoma proved too strong even for Merlin’s valiant spirit, and he slipped away peacefully in the early morning.
Born in Muscatine, Iowa to Harold and Lois Rohde in May, 1953, he was raised on various farms where his father worked as a tenant farmer. One brother, Jim, and three sisters, Vicki Hodson, Cheryl Rohde, and Michelle Norton (Steve) and their families mourn his passing, along with his wife of thirty years, Barbara (“Ranger Barb”). His parents preceded him in death.
Merlin had started in construction work before he left Iowa in 1974, and supervised crews for a construction company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where he lived for another ten years. Pete and Marlene Delmue from Pioche had moved to Pinedale, Wyoming, where he built a house for them. After three harsh Wyoming winters, they talked him into building a log home at the northeast part of Pioche, where new homes were just going in. He finished that home in 1984 and decided to stay in Pioche, where he remodeled and built new homes for another 30 plus years.
His legacy will live on in the lives of those who knew him, and those who live in the homes he built. At his wishes, he was cremated, and a memorial service will be held in spring, 2016, when his Iowa family and Barbara’s Arizona family can come to celebrate a life well-lived.