Orangeville City Press Release
Mervin was born in Orangeville on March 22, 1931. As a boy, he was very busy exploring the area from the mountains to the Swell all from horseback. He needed money so he would work for the local farmers in the valley putting up hay and other jobs. If he needed 15 cents to go to the shows he worked hard to get that 15 cents in his pocket.
He attended South Emery High School in Ferron followed by attending Utah State until he was drafted in 1952 into the army to be sent to the Korean War. He spent 18 days on a ship with 5,000 soldiers to Japan where they were transferred to another ship to South Korea.
He was assigned to the 507 Signa Corp where he was assigned to be a cook for the army and, from what I hear, he still knows how to please the tastebuds!
While in Korea, he witnessed a baptism in the ocean and experienced opportunities that reaffirmed the Lord’s hand is in all things. Due to his service to our country, he was unable to serve a mission as a young man. But as a serviceman, he not only served as a solider, but a missionary.
In 1954, Mervin returned back to the states and worked for Cox’s Saw Mill, cutting timber on East Mountain. He met and married Sharon Gayle Defreeze, a coal miner‘s daughter from Hiawatha. They married in the Manti temple in 1957. They have four children: Lynn, Richard, and the twins Marsha and Marie. They have been married for 61 wonderful years.
In 1957, he started working for the Price BLM, operating their heavy equipment. They were sent to Salt Lake City work in the range department, then after few years moved back to Orangeville to finished his career back in Price. Mervin worked for the BLM for 36 years.
Moving back to Emery County, he gets to do what he loves: spending time being with his wife Gale and family. But he can’t forget about his favorite past time, exploring the San Rafael Swell, identifying historical sites and doing family history.
Since his retirement, he and Gale have served two missions and continue to serve at the Bishops‘ store house. Both Mervin and Gale love to square dance they have been all over the country dancing. Mervin is not a sitter; he is always doing something, helping his neighbors, a new project, or just visiting with others.
When you get the chance to meet Mervin and Gale, make sure you take the time to thank him for his service for our country in Korea, our community and also congratulate Mervin on being the Grand Marshal of Orangeville Days 2018.