Merle E. Howell, 78, of Decatur died Wednesday, January 31, 2018 in Decatur Memorial Hospital.\nFuneral service to celebrate Merle’s life will be 12:00 noon Monday, February 5, 2018 at the Seventh Day Adventist Church (530 North Sunnyside Road, Decatur, Illinois 62522), with Pastor John Lewis officiating. Visitation will be one hour before the service at the church. Casual attire is requested. Burial with Military Rites by the Macon County Honor Guard will be in Macon County Memorial Park. Memorials may be made to the National Autism Association or to St. Jude’s Hospital. Tanzyus-Logan Funeral Service and Care is in charge of the arrangements.\nMerle was born in Decatur in July of 1939, son of Dale M. and Ruby V. Howell. He served in the Army 1959 to 1964. A member of the United Steel Workers Union Local 7-838 he worked for Mueller Company as a millwright for forty-three years. Merle married Bonnie S. Picard in February of 1959 and they enjoyed fifty-eight years together. He enjoyed the outdoors, hunting, fishing, camping and spending time with his family and friends. He loved country music.\nSurviving is his wife Bonnie S. Howell; daughter, Juanita (Todd) Raymond; grandson, Jonah Raymond; special nieces, Bonnie Howell Dippel and Darla Howell Kassis; his sister, Marcia (Larry) Feller; special friends, Glen and Sharon Saunders.\nHe was preceded in death by his parents and one brother, Raymond Howell.\nThank you to Generations at McKinley Place (formerly Symphony Nursing Home) for the care given to Merle.