Merlin Danberg Hiatt, 86, of La Grande, died Sunday, March 2, 1997, at Grande Ronde Hospital.
A graveside service will begin at 3 p.m. Friday at the Summerville Cemetery. Elmer L. Perry, patriarch of the La Grande Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and friend of the family, will preside. Daniels Chapel of the Valley is in charge of arrangements.
Mr. Hiatt was born in La Grande on Sept. 14, 1910, the youngest of 13 children of Samuel and Fredricka Johanna Elizabeth Danberg Hiatt. He was the last survivor of his immediate family.
His father was of early Utah Mormon heritage. His mother was born in Aarus, Denmark, and immigrated to the Salt Lake Valley in the early 1880s. Their children were born in Utah and Idaho enroute to Oregon, where the Hiatts’ last two children were born.
Mr. Hiatt received his education in La Grande schools, where he excelled in music, sports and scholastic challenges, family members said.
An avid sportsman, Mr. Hiatt enjoyed hunting and fishing and was a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association. He was also a longtime member of the fraternal Order of Eagles, Aerie No. 259. He was a fireman and engineer for the Union Pacific Railroad from 1942 until his medical retirement in 1980, retaining a membership in the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen.
He married Arleta Lucile Colt, who died on April 17, 1995. His eight brothers and four sisters also died earlier. A son, Jerry, died in 1962, and a granddaughter, Judy Hiatt, died in November 1995.
Survivors include one daughter, Merlarae Bonner of Portland; sons, Tom Hiatt of Baker City, Eldon Hiatt of Pasco, Wash., and Alvin Hiatt of La Grande; nine grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. Numerous nieces, nephews and cousins also survive.
Memorials may be made to the Union County Home Health Hospice in care of Daniels Chapel, 1502 Seventh St., La Grande 97850.
La Grande, Oregon
Wednesday, March 5, 1997
Contributed by: Tom Childers