Merlyn (Red) Dahl, 91, died at home September 4, 2020, following a brief illness. He was born November 14, 1928 in Bristol, Wis. to Herman F. and Ruby A. (Griffin) Dahl. His youth was spent in Columbus, Wis., and his family later moved to Delavan, where he graduated from Delavan High School. He served in the United States Marine Corps during WWII and the Korean Conflict.
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He married the love of his life, Virginia (Cox), on June 21, 1952 in Columbus, and raised their six children in Delavan. Dad was an Eagle Scout and later a Scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts of America. He was a longstanding member of the American Legion Post 95 and was part of the original group that started the Delavan Spook House for Halloween. An avid camper and hiker, his favorite spot was Isle Royale, where he often took his Boy Scout troop and later his sons and grandsons. He took great pride in his work as a house painter, still climbing ladders this past fall. He was a charter member of Cousin Otto's Clown Alley #22, a member of the Richmond United Methodist Church, and had a lifetime pass to the Walworth County Fair. He danced and traveled with our Mom and most often had a paperback Western tucked into a pocket.
You may have seen our Dad around town over the years. He was Santa's special helper in downtown Delavan for several years and could be found sitting in a lawn chair at every Walworth County Special Olympics basketball game his son played in. As "Steamboat" the clown (along with his wife "Daisy"), he entertained the crowd in nearly every city parade, and marched proudly in his WWII uniform for Memorial Day. He was a former alderman, and never being afraid to question, you may have seen him speak up at city meetings as recently as last year.
Our Dad could be seen on his nightly walks with a tall, wooden walking stick, and if he passed you on the street he always said hello or good evening. Conversations with him were never short. He taught us patriotism, to respect nature, to take care of family, that everyone has the right to be heard. He taught us to be honest and to give back. He was a great example to follow.
He is survived by his children, Debbie (Rick), Kathy (David), Colleen, Tom (Susan) and Jim (Angie), 14 grandchildren, and 16 great-grandchildren (with another on the way). He is also survived by his brother Hugh, two sisters-in-law and two brothers-in-law, along with many nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents, his beloved wife, Virginia, his son Bob, and three siblings.
At our Dad's request, there will be no formal services and a private family burial will be at a later date.
If so desired, memorials may be made to American Legion Post 95 or the Richmond United Methodist Church. The family wishes to thank Agrace and Bob Betzer for their compassionate care.
"I will see you down the trail."
~ Red Dahl
Betzer Family Funeral Home is proudly serving the Dahl family.