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Merl Arthur Morehouse


Merl “Duke” Arthur Morehouse, Age 73, passed away on Wednesday, August 11, 2021.  He was preceded in death by his parents Merle D. and Wilma J. Morehouse, and brother Donald “Pete” Morehouse.

Duke grew up in Plainwell, MI.  Upon graduating from Plainwell High School, he entered the US Air Force Academy in June 1965. He graduated with a BS in computer sciences in June 1969 and, ultimately, completed his MS in Systems Management while in the Air Force.  He spent the next 20 years proudly and honorably serving his country.  He loved to fly.  He was most proud of his accomplishments as a distinguished pilot and aircraft commander of the FB-111 Aardvark, flight training instructor of the T-38 Talon, and instructor, flight commander and Senior National Representative for the US in the Euro-NATO joint jet pilot training program.

With a rank of Lieutenant Colonel, he retired from the Air Force in 1989 to pursue the second act of his career life as a software project manager.  In 2000, he moved back to Michigan working with Dematic Corporation and Savant Automation in Grand Rapids until retirement from the corporate world.

Even in retirement, Duke liked to keep busy.  He volunteered at Van Andel Institute, helped rate golf courses with the Golf Association of Michigan, and assisted where he could with his condo association.

Duke enjoyed woodworking and had accomplished many major home rehabs including a new home build in 2010.   Duke loved traveling, fishing, golfing and games with friends and family.  He was always up for a good time, going to a party or entertaining.  Duke never turned down a bourbon or wine tasting.  He, truly, believed living life by the moto: Love, Laugh, Live.

He is survived by his loving wife Bonnie Hunter; his children Gretchen (Doug) Pani and John Morehouse; grandchildren Isaiah and Kathryn Pani, and Corbin and Simon Morehouse; sisters Donna (Jerry) Gorton and Julie (Harold) Brantley.

Private gatherings celebrating his life will be held in September.

Memorial contributions may be made in his memory to the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, Attn: Deanna Reames, memo field: Member Services Activity Account, 3000 Monroe Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505 or the Air Force Academy Foundation, 3116 Academy Dr, USAF Academy, CO 80840.


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10 Responses

  1. I met Duke at work and we golfed a lot.
    Duke was a great guy and a lot of fun.
    He will be missed.
    Dave Gritter

  2. Great Friend who will be Truly Missed.
    Fond memories of times together.

  3. Duke and I rated many golf courses together. My favorite memory is our GAM trip to the UP for a week of rating. He was a great guy, a great rater, and fun to be with.

  4. I first met Duke playing golf as members in the Great Lakes Summer Tour Golf League. A gentleman and fun golfer, we shared our military experiences. During the winter period we played euchre with guys from the golf league. Duke was a good player and quite competitive. I will miss you buddy, as I know many will. RIP my brother.

  5. Duke was well liked at Quail Crest. He was busy on many committees and we enjoyed meeting him and Bonnie when they volunteered for the gutter survey. He will be missed.

  6. I met Duke about two years ago and in that short amount of time I greatly appreciated his work ethic and kindness. He is the epitome of the old Air Force motto, “Aim High.” This old soldier will miss him.

  7. It is with great sadness we learn of Merl’s passing, our sincere condolences to the family. We all played football at Plainwell and Merl was a well respected member of the team.

    Class of 65 football team

  8. I met Duke on the golf course, and always enjoyed our interaction. He always had a smile on his face, and will be remembered for that and all his kindness. I’m glad I had the chance to meet him, and he is missed greatly.

  9. Bonnie, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Duke was a true blessing to our Quail Crest Community and all his work on our behalf is truly appreciated. (yours too!) He will be truly missed.

  10. I was in Merle’s graduating class of 1965 in Plainwell, Mich and participated in high school sports with him. He was a great fellow, and a studious athlete. Have lost track of him, sadly! My phone # is 865-603-5183. Address is 8008 Lennox Drive, Knoxville, Tenn 37909

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