Merlyn “Merly” Mickelson age 81 of Tracy passed away Sunday, March 21, 2021 at Sanford Medical Center in Sioux Falls. A Memorial Service will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday at Tracy Lutheran Church with a livestream on Stephens Funeral Service Facebook page. Visitation will be held from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. Friday at the Tracy Area Funeral Home with a Prayer Service at 6:30 p.m. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the services at church on Saturday. Interment will be held at a later date. Due to the current Covid-19 restrictions, GUESTS WILL BE REQUIRED TO WEAR A MASK and practice social distancing guidelines. Stephens Funeral Service – Tracy Area Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
Merlyn “Merly” Joseph Mickelson was born, along with his twin, on the family farm in Holly Township, rural Tracy, on May 6, 1939 to Ernest & Ruby (Shaw) Mickelson. He went to country school and later went to Tracy High School graduating with the class of 1957. Merly was a talented athlete, especially in baseball. He was well known for his 90+ mph fast ball and was even recruited to play in the Major league. While that didn’t happen, he did play for the Tracy Engineers for many years and led them to several State Tournaments. Merly was a member of the National Guard for over 20 years. He also had many other jobs over the years, including working at CHS for 20 years. But the job that gave him the most joy was being Grandpa to Hunter “the Big Ticket” and Chase “Odie”. He was very proud of them, especially their athletic abilities, and would often travel to Jonesboro to watch them. He was well known in Jonesboro even though he didn’t live there. Merly enjoyed playing cards, fishing, hunting, and watching sports on TV. On February 8, 2015, Merly sustained a traumatic brain injury from a bad fall and became a resident of Prairie View Senior Living in Tracy. He was well liked by the staff and other residents especially when he would sing “Sweet Idolette” and other songs. He will be remembered for his love of cookies and coffee! Merly was truly a legend in Tracy and the surrounding area due in large part to his huge personality. He knew everyone and everyone knew him. He had a wicked sense of humor and was known for making dry comments that always made people laugh. His presence would light up any room he entered. Merly was famous for giving nicknames and he never forgot the nicknames he gave even after his brain injury. If you were lucky enough to have a nickname, you knew you were special!
Merly is survived by his son & daughter-in-law Darien & Lynne of Jonesboro AR; his grandsons: Hunter & Chase; his granddaughter Lindsey and his great granddaughter Penelope; his twin Marilyn Hansen of Currie; brothers and their wives: Jerome & Judy Mickelson of Tracy and Dick & Jan Mickelson of Alexandria; many “Favorite” nieces and nephews, and other relatives and many, many friends. He was preceded in death by his parents Ernest & Ruby; his siblings and their spouses: Bev & Jack Adams, Roger & Anna Mae Mickelson, Duane “Sam” & Donna Mickelson and his brother-in-law Richard Hansen.