Merlen Earl Mix, 84, passed away during recovery from emergency surgery at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Twin Falls, Idaho on January 3, 2019. Merlen was born in Rupert, Idaho to Alfred and Leona Mary Phillips Mix. He was the fourth of five boys.
Merlen grew up in the Rupert area and graduated from high school in 1952. He served a 3-year mission to France and Belgium for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and completed a 2-year tour in Germany for the U.S. Army. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from BYU in 1962 and then taught mainly French and Spanish for a total of 27 years in Anchorage, Alaska; Rupert, Idaho; Provo, Utah; Crescent City, California; Parma, Idaho; Jerome, Idaho; Burley, Idaho; and Cody, Wyoming. He loved his students and organized several trips to Europe, advised multiple clubs, and coached cross-country teams through the years. He also worked hard through the summers at various jobs such as farm irrigation and teaching Driver’s Education. For a period of time he took a break from teaching, but returned to the classroom and retired in 1996. He then lived in Boise, Nampa, and most recently in Twin Falls.
Following his mission, he met Alayne Wheeler in Rupert and corresponded with her during his time in the Army. They were married in the Idaho Falls Temple on November 25, 1959 and had eight children over the next 21 years: Merlayne Mix, Boise, Idaho; Michael Mix, Taylorsville, Utah; Andrew (Lisa) Mix, Twin Falls, Idaho; James Mix, Eugene, Oregon; Marianne (Charles) Scott, Sahuarita, Arizona; Emily (Allan) Lloyd, Boise, Idaho; Jeannette (Dustin) Young, Boise, Idaho; and Alyssa (Gary) Moser, Middleton, Idaho.
Merlen was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and loved the Lord. He spent hours studying the scriptures in multiple languages and serving faithfully in many church assignments. He especially enjoyed attending the temple most days of the week. His family was very important to him and he often said that he was “a wealthy man,” referring to his relationships with his wife, children, grandchildren, and extended family. He also loved to play. His interests included travel, fishing, camping, photography, drawing/painting, playing games, and sports of any kind. He loved sweets, especially ice cream, and appreciated having a “new car” (inherited from his mother), and enjoyed exploring new places (like his father). Merlen was very friendly and often spoke to strangers as if they were old friends. He shared his photos and memories with everyone he could. He also had a quick sense of humor and was still making jokes right up until the moment of his death.
He was preceded in death by his wife, three brothers, and his parents. He is survived by his youngest brother, his children, and their families (including 16 grandchildren).
A “Celebration of Life” open house and viewing will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, January 11, 2019 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 723 Hankins Road North in Twin Falls. The funeral service will be at the same location Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. with a viewing one hour prior to the service. Burial will follow at the Rupert Cemetery (approximately 2:30 pm).
Arrangements are under the direction of Farnsworth Mortuary in Jerome and memories and condolences may be shared with the family on Merlen’s memorial webpage at www.farnsworthmortuary.com.