Merton Austin, 84

Merton Henry Austin, age 84 of Mendon, died Sunday, May 7, 2017 at Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo. He was born in South Bend, IN on Nov. 13, 1932 the son of Loren and Mildred (Eaton) Austin. He grew up a farm in the Shipshewana area and later served in the U.S. Army. He owned and operated Mert’s Barber Shop in Ft. Wayne for many years. After moving to Michigan in 1974 he worked briefly at Skipper’s Machine Shop in Vicksburg. Merton enjoyed woodworking and gardening, and was a very active member of the Crossroads Missionary Church, where he served as a Deacon.

Merton was married to Nancy Ryan on Jan. 4, 1958 in LaGrange, IN. She survives along with two children, Carl (Brenda) Austin and Carol Austin both of Mendon; six grandchildren, Kelly Austin, Katie (Dean) Cugliotta, Kris (Libby) Austin, Chad Evans, Lyn (Chucky) Worthington, and Kevin Ayala; six great-grandchildren; foster daughter, Marie (Jerry) Marriam; brother, Loren Austin of Portland, OR; four sisters, Mary Jean (Loren) Breyer of Kalamazoo, Joyce Burklin of Atlanta, GA, Rachel Entz of Wichita, KS, and Gertrude Weaver of LaGrange, IN; many nieces and nephews; and by his church family at Crossroads Missionary Church. He was preceded in death by his parents; and by two sisters, Ruth Barnes and Betty Glenn.

The family will receive friends from noon until 2 p.m. Wednesday May 10, 2017 at the Crossroads Missionary Church. Funeral services will begin at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday at the church with Pastor Bryan Balasa officiating, followed by food and fellowship at the church. Interment will take place 11:00 a.m. Thursday May 11, 2017 in Greenwood Cemetery in LaGrange, IN. Memorials may be directed to the Deacon’s Fund at Crossroads Missionary Church, 22605 M-60, Mendon, MI 49072. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

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