Merlin Eugene Borcher, grasped the hand of Jesus as Jesus said, “well done, good and faithful servant.” Then he peacefully passed away on Friday, Aug. 14, 2020, at Canyon Creek Memory Care in Billings, Montana. He quietly left this world, as family said their goodbyes, after battling Alzheimer’s disease for several years.
Merlin was a loving, kind and gentle man who ensured his children and grandchildren embraced the teachings of Jesus while setting the example as a Christian husband, father and grandfather.
Merlin and his twin sister were born in Sidney, Nebraska, on Oct. 18, 1931, to Theodore and Dorothy Borcher. It was during the early years of the Dust Bowl, with loss of Nebraska farmland, that brought Ted, Dorothy and their five children to a new farming opportunity in Wyoming. The family homesteaded on east Willwood, built the family home while clearing sagebrush from their surrounding farmland, plus planted and nurtured a large windbreak of many trees to protect the family home.
As Merlin grew up, he developed a love of farming and as a young man, purchased his own farm and eventually bought the original Borcher homestead from his parents. It was during the early years of farming when Merlin met and fell in love with his wife, Elaine (Wales) Borcher. Merlin and Elaine were married on Dec. 6, 1953, and they farmed together on east Willwood for 52 years.
Merlin attended Powell schools, graduating from Powell Senior High School in May 1949. He was an active FFA member while attending high school and served as president of the Powell chapter in his senior year in high school.
He served on the Willwood Irrigation District Board of Directors for over 40 years, (1960-2001) as well as the manager/lineman for Willwood Light and Power for many of those years. Merlin was community minded; upon learning that a farmer neighbor was too sick to harvest their crops, Merlin and his neighboring farmers organized a harvest team with their equipment to help their neighbor in need.
Merlin was a lifetime member of the Powell First United Methodist Church where he served in numerous roles throughout the years. He graciously gave his time and skill into serving the Lord through his Christian examples. Merlin and Elaine were both active participants in the Walk to Emmaus for many years, encouraging their family and friends to live out their lives in service to discipleship in their homes, church and community.
Merlin was preceded in death by his spouse of 66 years, Elaine (Wales) Borcher, parents Theodore and Dorothy, parent-in-laws Marion and Blanche Wales, his two older brothers Ralph and Richard Borcher, sister Elaine (Borcher) Knudson and son-in-law James Rodgers, as well as several brothers and sisters-in-law.
Merlin is survived by his twin sister, Mildred (Borcher) Emery of Powell; daughters Marlene Rodgers of Twin Falls, Idaho; Charlene (Denny) Irion of Charlotte, North Carolina; sons Greg Borcher and Mike (Jaclyn) Borcher of Powell; his sister and brothers-in law, Carlus and Loretta Blevins of Burlingame, California, and Harry and Georgia Wales of Cheyenne, Wyoming. Merlin was blessed with and survived by 12 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren, with the 15th great-grandchild expected in September. Plus, numerous nieces and nephews who touched his life throughout the years.
A celebration of Merlin’s life will be held at Thompson Funeral Home on Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020, at 10 a.m. with viewing at 9 a.m. Pastor Tim Morrow will be officiating, with burial to follow at Crown Hill Cemetery. Pallbearers for his service will be his six grandsons, Schain Irion, Andrew Borcher, Brad Rodgers, Casey Borcher, Bryan Borcher and Dustin Borcher.
The family would like to extend their thanks and appreciation to the staff at Canyon Creek Memory Care for their love and care of our father for almost four years.
In lieu of flowers, the family would suggest a donation to the Big Horn Basin Discipleship Walk, P.O. Box 1161, Powell, WY 82435.