In Memory of Merlin Raymond Rabe

Merlin Raymond Rabe
Merlin Raymond Rabe
Born: May 7, 1931
Died: June 17, 2021
Age: 90
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Merlin Raymond Rabe
May 7, 1931 - June 17, 2021
From: Ida Grove, IA

Merlin Raymond Rabe, age 90, of Ida Grove, Iowa, passed away on Thursday, June 17, 2021, at the UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center of Sioux City, Iowa.

A Funeral Service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, June 28, 2021, at the St. Paul Lutheran Church of Ida Grove, Iowa. Rev. Richard A. Salcido will officiate. Committal Services will follow in the Ida Grove Cemetery of Ida Grove, Iowa, with a flag presentation by the McNamara-Moore Post No. 61 of the Ida Grove American Legion. A Visitation will be held one-hour prior to the service from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., on Monday, June 28, 2021, at the St. Paul Lutheran Church of Ida Grove, Iowa.

The Christensen-Van Houten Funeral Home of Ida Grove, Iowa, is in charge of the funeral arrangements. Condolences may be sent online at   

Merlin Raymond Rabe, the eldest of three children, was born on May 7, 1931, to Ben and Florence (Ernst) Rabe at home on the family farm southwest of Ida Grove, IA. He attended the Grant Center Country School through the eighth grade and then went on to graduate from Ida Grove High School in 1949. Merlin entered the U.S. Air Force in 1950 serving his tour of duty in England as an aircraft radio technician. 

On August 4, 1952, Merlin married his high school sweetheart, Shirley Wood, while stationed in Bovingdon, England. While living in England, they welcomed the birth of their first child, daughter Debra. The family returned home to Ida County and settled on the family farm in 1954 where he farmed with his father. Cattle, hogs, milk cows, and laying hens were all a part of his farming operation along with growing crops. A son, Corey, was born in 1956. Merlin loved farm life and could see God’s hand in nature. He loved to sit outside in his lawn chair, with a cup of coffee in nice weather to enjoy God’s creation. He farmed until his retirement in 1996. Merlin continued to live on the farm which he was born on until his death. He was a wonderful son, devoted husband, beloved father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.

Merlin was a member of the Trinity Lutheran Church in Grant Township until it closed after a tornado destroyed it in 1969. The family then became members of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Ida Grove. He held many church offices over the years, taught Sunday School, and a young adult Bible class. For a number of years, he also volunteered on the Ida Grove Ambulance crew. Merlin enjoyed woodworking and made many items for his children, grandchildren, and friends. Merlin and Shirley also enjoyed wintering in South Texas—traveling with their fifth wheel travel trailer.

Survivors include his daughter Debra (Ron) Parker of Holstein, IA and his son Corey (Emma Sue) Rabe of Vandalia, IL; grandsons Bryce (Natalie) Parker of Kaiserslautern, Germany, Mitchell (Megan) Rabe of Evansville, IN, Aaron (Bethany) Parker of Nashville, TN, Blake Rabe of St. Louis, MO and Adam (Alissa) Parker of Iowa City, IA; great-grandchildren Xristianos and Elektra Parker of Germany, Warren Rabe and Cayden Shelton of Evansville, IN; sister Lois Gilchrist of Waukee, IA; brother Richard Rabe of North Fork, ID; and brother-in-law Francis (Cheryl) Wood of Arizona; numerous nieces, nephews and extended family. 

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife Shirley; sisters-in-law Charlotte (Arnold) Putensen, Delores (George) Vickery, Donna (Thomas) Schmidt, Dolores (Eugene) Wood, Charlotte (Everett) Wood and Donna Rabe; brother-in-law Bill Gilchrist.



11:00 a.m., Monday,
June 28, 2021
St. Paul Lutheran Church
Ida Grove, Iowa


Rev. Richard A. Salcido


Bryce Parker
Aaron Parker
Adam Parker
Mitchell Rabe
Blake Rabe
Randy Rohlk


One-Hour Prior to the Service
10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m., Monday,
St. Paul Lutheran Church
Ida Grove, Iowa


"I Know That My Redeemer Lives"
"Christ The Lord Is Risen Today"
"Good Christian Friends Rejoice & Sing"


Ida Grove Cemetery
Ida Grove, Iowa


Monday, June 28, 2021 at 11:38 AM
“Blake; Sorry to hear of your Grandpa's passing. He was obviously a child of God and with Him in His Kingdom. Blessings to you and your family. Jack & Jan from Ascension Lutheran Church, St. Louis MO”
- Jack & Jan Pendleton
Monday, June 28, 2021 at 11:38 AM
“Corey and Deb,
I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. I have so many fond memories of time spent at your home and of Merlin and Shirley. Thoughts of you always come at this time of year as I give thanks that I still have fingers and toes. 😉 Memories!
Sending hugs for your sorrow and prayers of thanksgiving that we have the assurance that someday we all will be together with our Lord.
Barb Pfaltzgraff Gunnarson ”
- Barb Pfaltzgraff Gunnarson
Friday, June 25, 2021 at 9:07 AM
“Sorry for your loss I remember working for Merlin baling hey and walking beans, he would park the pickup near the beanfield and turn up the radio. He always treated me good and paid even better!”
- Craig Wittmaack
Thursday, June 24, 2021 at 3:45 PM
“We send our deepest sympathies to Deb and Corey and the entire Rabe-Parker family. May God continue to comfort you during this difficult time. God bless you. Love, Thad and Elektra ”
- Thad and Elektra Gaebelein
Thursday, June 24, 2021 at 3:45 PM
“Merlin Raymond was a wonderful human being. I was honored to have had him in my life for the last 8 years as an honorary Grandfather after marrying his firstborn grandson Bryce Parker. He will always hold a special place in my heart. After Bryce and I welcomed our firstborn son Xristianos, as well as Merlin's firstborn Great Grandson, we decided to incorporate Merlin into our sons name, therefore naming him Xristianos Raymond Parker. We just adored him deeply and will forever miss his kind soul. May his memory be Eternal. ”
- Natalie Parker
Monday, June 21, 2021 at 3:28 PM
“When I think of Merlin and Shirley I have fond memories which mostly include church activities. Corey, Deb, and families, you have my sympathies at this time of loss. May you be comforted by the promise our heavenly Father gives to us of salvation and look forward to the day you'll all be together again. ”
- Mark and Sandy (Ernst) Nissen
Sunday, June 20, 2021 at 9:23 AM
“Condolences to all those who loved Merlin. He was a wonderful gentleman.
- Scott Vickery
Sunday, June 20, 2021 at 9:23 AM
“Condolences to all those who loved Merlin. He was a wonderful gentleman.
- Scott Vickery
Sunday, June 20, 2021 at 9:23 AM
“Deb , so sorry for your lose !”
- Diane Fleenor
Sunday, June 20, 2021 at 9:23 AM
“May the Lord of our eternal life bless your family with His comfort. Merlin truly had a Christ blessed life and because of his faith and trust in Jesus as his Savior, his spirit now knows firsthand what we are still trusting by faith. To Him be all glory and praise and we are sure that Merlin is rejoicing even now. ”
- Gene and Vivian Ernst
Sunday, June 20, 2021 at 9:22 AM
“Merlin and Shirley were not only some of my favorite cousins but favorite people. Heaven is a better place with Merlin there now. ”
- Dale and Vikki Etnst
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