Merlyn Ross Cadwell

Merlyn Ross Cadwell, age 98, resident of Hudson, WI passed away peacefully in his sleep on the morning of Saturday, November 13, 2021.

Merlyn was born April 3, 1923 in Russell, MN to Ross and Nellie (Rask) Cadwell. Merlyn attended all 12 years of school at Russell Public Schools in Russell, MN graduating the spring of 1941. He was captain of the basketball team, co-captain of the football team and participated in the music program. He was drafted into the military twice following graduation, but being unable to pass the physical, he supported the war effort by building planes in California. Later on, he joined the Great Northern Railway as a telegrapher/depot agent.

He married Marjorie Carolyn Williams on June 18, 1944. Their first home was a 10-foot trailer house, as he would travel with work to various towns in his role as a relief depot agent. In October 1944, he took a permanent position in Struble, IA and Doon, IA and then in 1950, they moved to Russell MN, where they raised their four children. They lived there until 1970, at which time they moved to Clara City, MN. He retired from the railroad in 1981.

Early in his life, Merlyn developed a love for playing music. Blessed with a God-given natural ability, he entertained many audiences. He played at school and at dances along with his dad in his younger years. As an adult, he played with many orchestras and bands, such as The Ambassadors, Country Squires, and The Minnesota Over 60 Band. His last gig was at the age of 97 alongside his brother, Art, and his friends with The Music Makers at the Marshall Nursing Home. Merlyn was a very capable woodworker using his skills to help build his family’s home and make things for his children, his grandchildren and whatever his wife wanted. He organized many camping, train, and road trips for the family. He was an avid reader and even read through an entire set of encyclopedias in his depot days. He was more than willing to put in the extra effort to provide entertainment for his extended and immediate family by staging 4th of July fairs in the backyard.

Merlyn is survived by his children, Jerry of Clarkfield, MN, Carolyn Jonason of Hudson, WI, Larry (Mingli) of Mounds View, MN, and Randy of LaPorte; 10 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; brother, Art (Muriel) of Marshall, MN; sister-in-law, Dianne Karlstad of Lynd, MN; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Marge; brothers, Don, Bob, Dick, and Calvin; sisters, Edna Prangburn, Alice Mork, and Dorothy Cadwell; son-in-law, Craig Jonason; and daughter-in-law, Judy Berghuis.

A Celebration of Life for Merlyn will take place 4:00 p.m. Saturday, November 27, 2021 at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home in Hudson, WI. Visitation will be 2 hours prior. Masks will be required. Burial to take place in the summer at Russell Cemetery next to his wife, in Russell, MN.

Please join us in a livestream of Merlyn’s Celebration of Life here.

Memorials preferred to the charity of your choice in his name.


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