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Merle E. Unzel

June 17, 1938 ~ September 3, 2023 (age 85) 85 Years Old


Merle E. Unzel, 85, of Rock Island, passed away Sunday, September 3, 2023, at UnityPoint Health-Trinity, Rock Island. A memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Monday, September 11, 2023, at Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home and Crematory, 3030 7th Avenue, Rock Island. Visitation will be held from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Sunday, September 10, 2023, at the funeral home. Inurnment will be in Rock Island Memorial Park Mausoleum. Memorials may be made to the American Heart Association or the American Diabetes Association.

Merle was born June 17, 1938, in Madison, South Dakota, to Eugene and Naomi (Shoemaker) Unzel. He graduated from Rock Island High School in 1957. Merle married Berniece A. Heaton on April 22, 1961, in Geneseo. He retired from the former International Harvester Farmall plant as a drill press operator. Merle was a former Rock Island Moose Lodge member and enjoyed bowling. He also liked working on cars and racing.

Those left to cherish Merle’s memory include his wife of 62 years, Berniece; sons, Darrel (Colette) Unzel, East Moline, and Todd (Tomo) Unzel, California; brothers, Gerald (Maureen) Unzel and Richard Unzel; and special friends, Don and Anna Johnson.

Merle was preceded in death by his parents and infant son, Mark.

Online condolences and memories may be left for Merle’s family on his tribute page at

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September 10, 2023

1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home and Crematory
3030 - 7th Avenue
Rock Island, IL 61201

Memorial Service
September 11, 2023

1:00 PM
Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home and Crematory
3030 - 7th Avenue
Rock Island, IL 61201

Inurnment following Memorial Service
September 11, 2023

Mausoleum of Rock Island Memorial Park Cemetery


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