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Merlin Arthur Wilbur, 73

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Merlin A. Wilbur, 73, of Hastings, passed away March 19, after a valiant struggle with cancer.

Merlin was born Oct. 21, 1940, in Preston, Minn., to Manford and Alma (Hillestad) Wilbur. He was a graduate of Zumbrota High School and served in the U.S. Army.

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At home on Ravenna Trail for 30 years, Merlin's career was always in construction - from owning his own construction company to building inspector and private consultant in the building trades. He loved to garden, fish and travel with his wife, children, and grandchildren - traveling from Alaska to Puerto Rico to Norway. Merlin was active in his church and dedicated many years of service at St. Philip's Lutheran Church. He was a beloved family man known for his wry sense of humor.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother Ellert Bothun; and sister Avis.

Merlin is survived by his wife of 42 years, Elaine (Knutson) Wilbur; daughters Melanie Wilbur of Hastings, Terri (Jim) Baudoin of Kasson, Lisa (Don) Kettelcamp of Wentzville, Mo., and Debbi (Bruce) Rinn of Rochester. Merlin also leaves behind his stepchildren Pam Rodriguez, John (Karen) Fladeland, Risha (Kevin) Murray, and Harvey (Lori) Fladeland; brother Ardell (Bev) Bothun of Austin, Minn.; and sister Dianne (Bill) Borm of Lodgepole, Neb.; as well as 20 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

The memorial service, officiated by Rev. David Wrightsman will be held 11 a.m.. Saturday, March 29, at St. Philip's Lutheran Church, 1401 West Fifteenth St., Hastings with visitation one hour prior to service at church. Interment, with Military Honors provided by the Hastings VFW Lyle Russell Post #1210 will follow in the Lakeside Cemetery, Hastings.

Memorials are preferred to the American Cancer Society or St. Philip's Lutheran Church.

Arrangements made with Caturia-Smidt Funeral Home, Hastings, 651-437-9419, www.caturia-smidtfh.com.

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