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OBIT: Merlin “Mike” Iverson

Merlin (Mike) Iverson, 90, of Mason City, passed away on Friday, February 10, 2023, at MercyOne Medical Center North Iowa.

Merlin (Mike) Iverson, 90, of Mason City, passed away on Friday, February 10, 2023, at MercyOne Medical Center North Iowa. A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, February 14, 2023, at Trinity Lutheran Church, 213 N Pennsylvania Ave. with Pastor Dan Dahl officiating. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service time. Inurnment will be held at a later date in Elmwood-St. Joseph Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to the family of Merlin Iverson.

Mike was born on November 4, 1932, at the home farm 8 miles east and 2 miles north of Cresco, IA. His parents were Grant and Marie (Haga) Iverson. The farm Mike grew up on was homesteaded by his great grandparents when they came from Norway in the early 1850’s. Mike was the youngest of 3 sons. He attended rural school in Winneshiek County through 8th grade and graduated from Cresco High School in 151. About a week after graduation he was on his way to San Diego to begin his 4 year Navy career.

While in the Navy, Mike attended several schools on aircraft maintenance and then joined a newly commissioned weather recon squadron, VJ-1, at Seattle, WA, the squadron trained for about 6 months and was then sent to Naval Air Station, Agana Guam for typhoon recon duty in the western Pacific. Mike served as a flight crew member on numerous flights and was the proud recipient of a Navy “Huriphooner” certificate which he said was given to anyone dumb enough to get in an aircraft that you knew was going to fly into the eye of a typhoon at wave height altitude. While based in Guam, he saw duty in the Philippine Islands, Japan, Hong Kong, French Indo China (Vietnam) and lots of other islands.

Mike returned to the states in February 1954, and was then stationed at Moffett Field, San Jose, CA, with VR-5, transport squadron. VR-5 carried troops and supplies to places like Kodial and Adak, Alaska Atsugi, Japan, Hawaii, Guam, Wake and Midway Island and other Islands in the Pacific. Mike served as crew member on many flights to various places in Alaska and the Pacific.

After discharge from the Navy, Mike worked for North Central Airlines in Minneapolis, then moved to San Francisco and worked for Pan American World Airways and then Boeing Aircraft in Seattle. Mike then decided to attend college at Iowa State Teachers College (UNI), Cedar Falls where he majored in Physics. It was at UNI that he met Carol, his wife to be. They were married June 11, 1961, at Villisca, IA and later adopted two children, Robert Mark (Bob) in 1965 and Jean Marie in 1968. They along with his wife Carol were his pride and joy.

Mike earned his Masters degree in Chemistry at Montana State University in 1964 and also did graduate work at a number of other colleges and universities including Iowa State, Montana State, University of Iowa, Lake Forest College, University of Maryland, South Dakota State University, Luther College and Mankato State University.

Mike taught H.S. Science at Manson, IA, Blooming Prairie, MN, Charles City, IA, Chemistry at NIACC and Chemistry and Physics at Mason City High School. He also was on staff at Montana State University at Bozeman for 3 summers. He retired from teaching in 1992. Mike thoroughly loved teaching and enjoyed keeping tabs on former students and seeing them succeed in their various occupations.

Mike enjoyed his family, woodworking, refinishing furniture, building pie safes, fishing trips, coffee with friends, visiting with neighbors and just plain tinkering.

Mike is survived by his wife Carol, son Robert (Bob) and daughter Jean (Jeff) Howe.

Mike was preceded in death by his parents, Grant and Marie Iverson, brothers Lauren and Alton.

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