Charles T. "Chuck" Merrill
Chuck Merrill, formerly of Springfield, IL, passed on Monday June 20, 2022 into the arms of our most loving and forgiving heavenly Father. Chuck was born June 9, 1944 in Lincoln, IL, the son of Harold and Rachel (Suiter) Merrill.
He is survived by his daughter, Carla L. (Travis) Smith, grandson, Grant Luckhart and daughter, Rachelle (Jim) Haake, grandsons, Tyler and Bryce Haake. He is also survived by beloved nieces and nephews.
At his core, Chuck was a builder, one who loved the challenge of creating and improving. Starting at building furniture in high school to building Merrill’s Contractors, he patented curb machine accessories, and moved on into heavy highway construction where he spent 40 years proudly working in central Illinois.
Sprint cars, What began as a hobby and way to relax quickly became another build. Founding Maxim Racing Chassis, from its inception in 1988 until 2014, it was his true passion. Letting go was hard, but he stated he knew the current owners have the same love of racing. He was incredibly proud of the work he did in the sprint car industry. From manufacturer of the year several times, to being part of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum, where in 2014 he became an inductee.
Chuck loved to be in Florida. His soul loved nature. The beauty of a tree lined road, the flight of a bird, and the sound of the ocean. An apt parallel to building he loved to watch things grow. He loved to grow and eat tomatoes. He loved rose bushes and hydrangea and the vibrant colors of gerber daisies. He loved color. He lived vibrantly. He loved us. And we love and miss him and are forever grateful our heavenly Father gave us these years together.
Memorial Gathering: 4 – 7 pm, Tuesday, June 28, 2022 at Staab Funeral Home – Sherman.
Memorial contributions may be made to the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame or the American Heart Association.
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