Merl Bentz Firestone, Jr. passed quietly and serenely into the arms of Jesus, his Savior and Lord, on November 22, 2017 at the Pike’s Peak Hospice Unit of Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs. He was the last of five children born to Merl B. Firestone and Sarah Miller Firestone in Rossville, Pennsylvania, on May 29, 1927. He was the last surviving member of his family.
Before his 18th birthday, Merl enlisted in the U.S. Navy and proudly served with the Seabees in the Pacific Theater until the end of WWII. Only months after his discharge, he married his sweetheart, Virginia Marie Hardt, in Hagerstown, Maryland on November 9, 1946. The couple celebrated 67 years of marriage before Marie preceded him in death in 2014.
Merl and Marie began their lives together in Dover, Pennsylvania, where they welcomed a son, Steve, and daughter, Elaine. There, Merl worked alternately as a certified welder and professional house painter.
Seeking adventure and a new life “Out West”, Merl moved his family in 1966 to Ft. Worth, Texas, where he was employed by General Dynamics Corp. building F-111 fighter-bombers for the USAF.
1971 found Merl relocating to Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he lived the second half of his life doing what he loved best, working, both for himself and others. Merl was the consummate Jack-of-All-Trades and Mr. Fix-it.
Known for his helping hands, he was never too busy to help a friend or family member with any kind of project. After his retirement from Stresscon Corp. in 1989, Merl kept himself occupied by caring for widows and older folk in the community.
He was a member of Radiant Church of Colorado Springs and faithfully attended services until he was unable to drive himself. Merl lived his last two years at Broadmoor Court and was grateful for the gentle, loving care he received there.
Mr. Firestone is survived by a son, Dr. Steve Firestone (Becky) of Trout Creek, Montana; a daughter, Elaine Firestone (fiancé, John Bobbitt) of Colorado Springs; grandsons, Jason Firestone (Jessica) of Lakewood, Colorado, and Seth Firestone of Almont, Colorado; and many nieces and nephews whom he dearly loved.
Merl’s family wishes to thank the staff of Broadmoor Court and the staff and volunteers of Pike’s Peak Hospice for the excellent care given him, and also his neighbors on Shadowglen Dr. and Pastor Gary Lipich and Ben and Hildegard Grady of Radiant Church who so faithfully visited him.
Memorials may be made to the Pike’s Peak Hospice Foundation.