Merle Frank Hentze Sr.

05/28/1943 - 09/22/2023


Obituary For Merle Frank Hentze Sr.

Merle Frank Hentze Sr., 80 of Elida, passed away September 22, 2023, at his home.

Merle was born May 28, 1943 in Lima to Frank and Edith (Swickrath) Hentze, who preceded him in death. On December 2, 1964, he married Linda (Byers) Hentze, who preceded him in death in 2009.

Merle also known as “Papaw”, worked for many years at Clark Equipment and then General Dynamics until his retirement. He then went to work as a bus driver for Elida Local Schools until 2013. Merle loved playing in pool leagues and riding motorcycles with the people he loved most. He was not able to go in public without seeing someone he knew. He also had a passion for working in his garage with his wife Linda and all his grandsons. Merle loved watching westerns and doing his yearly canning with his daughter Edith. In addition, he enjoyed a great meal cooked by his other daughter Dawn. He was a talented musician who loved playing guitar and singing; Merle loved watching his son play in a rock bands at local bars. Michigan had a special place in his heart, where he spent many summer weekends riding the dune buggy’s. He loved his children fiercely, and his love for his wife Linda was unmatched. Merle was incredibly stubborn but unbelievably loyal to his family and friends. He was always willing to go to Western Sizzlin' or Waffle House to get a good meal. He also loved catching up with friends but most of all, Merle loved the time he spent with his family and he will be deeply missed by everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him.

Merle is survived by his daughter, Edith (Brian) Conn; son, Merle Hentze, Jr.; son-in-law, Kurt Plapp; grandchildren, Erica (Ben) Bojicic, Zach (Heather) Conn, Dacota (Danielle) Hentze, Bradon Conn, Cassidy Conn, Brooke (Clay Meister) Hentze, Breaun Hentze, Blake Hentze, Deryk Plapp and Kameron Plapp; great-grandchildren, Morgan Conn, Karlee Conn, Grayson Bocook, Shiloh Short, Branka Bojicic, Cheyenne Snider, Kaden Kraft, Carter Kraft and Raelynn Meister; sister, Linda Jackson and his dog, Lily.

In addition to his parents and wife, he is preceded in death by his daughter, Dawn Plapp and his sister, Carolynn Hadsell.

Funeral Service will be held at 7:30 PM on Friday, September 29, 2023 at CHILES-LAMAN FUNERAL & CREMATION SERVICES, SHAWNEE CHAPEL with Rev. Joe Compton to officiate.

If you have a motorcycle, be sure to ride it out in his honor.

Visitation will be held from 4:00 PM until the time of the service at the funeral home.

Condolences may be expressed to the family at


29 Sep


04:00 PM - 07:30 PM

Chiles-Laman Funeral & Cremation Services - Shawnee Chapel 1170 Shawnee Road Lima, OH 45805 Get Directions »
29 Sep

Funeral Service

07:30 PM

Chiles-Laman Funeral & Cremation Services - Shawnee Chapel 1170 Shawnee Road Lima, OH 45805 Get Directions »
by Obituary Assistant

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  • 09/29/2023

    So sorry to the whole family. Merle was quite the character and he and I would discuss how to make this world better between bus runs. A lot of laughs and memories. Hugs to all of you and may God give you peace. Jan Swickrath

  • 09/24/2023

    I knew Merleand his family for a long time. I lived behind him. I'm Jackie Lyons daughter. He was always busy and he loved his family so much. Listened to music I remember. Had a pool in the back yard and Cars if I am correct. He was a good man I am so very sorry for your loss. Gods speed Merle and now you're in the Fathera hands. Another Angel for your family

  • 09/24/2023

    So incredibly sorry to hear this news. Merle was one of a kind and will be missed by everyone who knew him. Keeping all of the family in my thoughts and prayers.

  • 09/24/2023

    Edith I am so sorry for u an ur families loss. Hugs an prayers to u an ur family.

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