Merle Lee Kloster was born July 17, 1927, in Barlow, Ore., to Madge and Nelson Kloster.
When he was 7 years old, the family moved to Zion, Ore., where the family briefly lived with his grandfather near Kloster Mountain. There his family began attending the Trent Church of Christ. That became his church for the rest of his life. He was baptized in Lost Creek when he was 10 years old.
When Merle graduated from Pleasant Hill High School in 1945, he enlisted in the Navy, serving on the USS Hancock. When he was inducted into the Navy, he drew the officers’ attention for his exceptional build. Upon returning to Trent, he bought a truck fulfilling his plan of having a log-hauling profession. In 1950, he took a trucking job in eastern Oregon in the town of Mitchell.
On Sundays, he visited a little church where Iris Crandell was singing in the choir. The following June, they married. Merle and Iris celebrated their 70th anniversary on June 16, 2021. And yes, he named his truck “Iris Louise.”
Merle served his church on the church board, as an elder, a deacon, a Sunday school teacher, and singing in the choir. He also helped with several building projects. He was nonjudgmental. He liked having a simple life, being at home with family, listening to music, putting puzzles together with the great-grandchildren, and working crossword puzzles.
Merle leaves behind his wife, Iris, his daughter Cherri Roberts (Jerry), granddaughter Amanda, and great-grandchildren Deanna, Chris, Alexis, Isabel, and his brother William “Bud.” He is preceded in death by his parents, Madge and Nelson Kloster, his brother Ben Kloster, his son Norman Kloster, and his grandson Nathan Roberts.
Services were held at Trent Church of Christ. Contributions can be made to the Trent Church of Christ building fund.