Merlin (Ol’ Merl) Ira Fellows, 78, of Lempster, NH died peacefully at his home on April 7th, 2019, after numerous complications from a stroke.
Merl was born on October 30th, 1940 in Newport, the son of the late Daniel Ira Fellows and Nellie E. (Walker) Fellows. Merl attended school in Unity and Newport, and then enlisted in the United States Army on January 22nd, 1960 and served most of his 3-year term in Germany as a heavy equipment operator specialist, as well as earning various Marksman and Sharpshooter commendations.
Merl spent his entire working career at just a few local companies as a heavy equipment operator & truck driver, as well as owning and operating Merl’s Trucking for several years. He retired from Carroll Concrete/Newport Sand & Gravel, Inc. in 2014 after working there for 37 years. He greeted all the truckers he met on the road from his CB Radio, and was widely known as the “Lazy Rabbit”. There was nothing lazy about the “Lazy Rabbit”. He took a lot of pride in his trucks, always keeping them spotless inside and out, and in pristine working condition. His work ethic was second to none and he set the standard for his timeliness, dependability and consistency.
Merl married the late Nancy L. (Smith) Fellows in July of 1966 and they shared 39 years together until her death in August of 2005. They made their home and raised their family in Newport for 18 years, and then built their dream home high on the hill in Unity, overlooking several towns and mountain ranges.
Merl was a home-body and rarely ventured too far from home. He had a sense of humor like no other and had a way of telling stories, true or otherwise, that would always keep everyone wondering. He found humor in every situation, whether it was appropriate to do so or not. He was often heard saying “put a little humor in your life”! He lived by that motto. He enjoyed watching auto racing, tractor pulls, going out to eat, an annual morning hunting trip, with his lifelong friend Tiny Reed, where a picnic lunch & lots of gabbing was the main priority and rarely even got out of the truck or brought a hunting rifle, the regular social gatherings at his brother Steve’s, and regular Saturday morning visits with his brother Norm at the farm house in Unity where they were raised. He was a very routine man, and rarely wandered from his normal, everyday schedule. He kept an immaculate home, everything had its place, and he even made his bed every single morning. He never threw anything away that could potentially be considered at all useful to him or anyone else. Plastic bags, bread twist ties, empty bank money envelopes, empty plastic Gatorade bottles, slippers with holes in them and we can’t forget the pits from the peaches he ate (in case he decided to plant a peach tree in his yard). He was frugal and could always find a way to fix something up, rather than just tossing it, even though he always had at least one new replacement on hand.
For the past several years, Merl enjoyed a membership at the Claremont Community Center where he would walk the indoor track faithfully, 5 days a week, and spend a lot of time bantering with the various members & employees that he befriended there. He was a long standing member of Twin Ridge Mountaineers Snowmobile Club and was very happy to allow the club to maintain the main trail through his property. In recent years, his favorite pastime was playing with his Great Grandsons, Weston & Wyatt, who lovingly called him “Big Bumpa”. Whether he was taking them for rides on his tractor or mule, or just making up silly games to play with them to make them chuckle, Big Bumpa turned in to the biggest kid of all when he was around those boys and they were always the highlight of his week, and the feeling was mutual. In the past 12 weeks (since his stroke), he and his brother Richard were on a quest to find the best homemade old-fashioned donuts in the region. They traveled many miles and scheduled their “donut run” days in advance. They tested a lot of donuts, always coming home with at least a dozen, to continue the taste testing. Somehow the donut obsession resulted in weight loss for them. Based on their results, the donut diet could be the new diet craze in the near future.
In addition to his wife, he was also predeceased by his Brother Arnold B. Fellows of Claremont, NH in 2008 and his Father-In-Law Leroy Ervin (Smitty) Smith of Mt. Sunapee, NH in 2000.
Merl is survived by his two daughters, who were fiercely protective and completely devoted to their Dad; Melanie (Fellows) Sartwell and her husband, Craig of Lempster, NH; Corina (Fellows) Ouellette and her partner, Ken Mello of Sunapee, NH; a son, Michael Fellows of Newport, NH; Grandchildren Kayla (Gabe) Brehio of Lempster, NH; Kristofer Maley of Claremont, NH; Candice Callum of Sunapee, NH; Alexis Ouellette of Sunapee, NH. Great Grandchildren Brayden Maley of Maggie Valley, North Carolina; Weston & Wyatt Brehio of Lempster, NH; Three brothers, Stephen W. Fellows and his wife, Carolyn of Lempster, NH; Norman S. Fellows of Unity, NH; Richard W. Fellows and his wife Mary, of Lempster, NH; A sister-in-law Patty J. (Belcher) Fellows of Claremont, NH. His Mother-In-Law, Rita (Fortune) Smith of Mt. Sunapee, NH; His Sister-In-Law Lynda (Smith) Richardson and her husband Bruce of Newport, NH; Several Nieces, Nephews, Cousins and many, many lifelong friends;
Services will be at the Newton-Bartlett Funeral Home on Main Street in Newport, NH on Thursday, April 11th, 2019. Calling hours from 10am to 11am, immediately followed by the funeral service at 11am. From there, a graveside committal service with full military honors will be held at the Pine Grove Cemetery in Newport, NH, where Ol’ Merl will keep on hossin’.