Stratford, SD-Funeral service for Howard Merrill Taylor Jr., 65, of Stratford will be 11:00 am, Friday, September 6, 2019 at Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Aberdeen.

Burial will be 12:00 pm, Saturday, September 7, 2019 at Sunset Memorial Gardens.

Visitation will be for one hour prior to the service at the church.

Merrill died September 1, 2019 at Avera St. Luke’s Hospital.

Howard Merrill Taylor Jr, son of Howard Merrill and Phyllis (Ishmael) Taylor, Sr. was born May 4, 1954 in Vicksburg, Mississippi.  His family was in the apiary business.  He grew up in Stratford and attended elementary school in Stratford.  He graduated from Warner High School with the class of 1972.  He attended Northern State College and Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

Merrill married Sheila Richey on September 10, 1976 in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Salt Lake City Temple.  They made their home in Rolette, ND where he was a Beekeeper.  In 1980 they moved to Stratford where he continued his career in the apiary business.  In November of 1991, he sold the apiary business.  Merrill then became a heavy equipment operator that took him to many locations throughout the Midwest.  His health began to fail, he then retired.  During retirement, he still traveled two times with Habitat for Humanity to the Philippines.

Merrill enjoyed hunting and all outdoor sports, including snowmobiling.  He would reload his own ammunition, as he was a perfectionist.

Merrill was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, North Dakota and South Dakota Beekeepers Association and International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49.

Grateful for having shared Merrill’s life are his children, Katherine (Randy) Crisler of Gallup, NM, Robert (Samantha) Taylor of Idaho Falls, ID and Leslie Burris of Idaho Falls, ID; sister, Alice (Michael) Stewart of Rolette, ND; brothers, Bill (Jan) Taylor of Huron, SD and Dan (Sheral) Taylor of Frederick, SD and seven grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, son, Wayne, brother, Richard and two sisters, Lorraine Frazier and Arlene Taylor.

Casketbearers will be John Ellingson, John Witchey, Buzz McNeil, Inel Ryckman, Rob Taylor, Bill Taylor, Bernie Jark and Casey Frazier.

Carlsen Funeral Home and Crematory of Aberdeen has been entrusted with arrangements.