David Eugene "Gene" Merchant, 84, passed away January 12, 2020 at his home in Monroe. He was born December 30, 1935 in Sevier. A tall, quiet man, he was the youngest son of John Carl and Gertrude Lydall Yardley Merchant. He had 3 brothers: Jim, John, and Walter; and 2 sisters: Betty and Virginia.
Dad married Evelyn Elaine Moore, later divorced. They had 7 children: Holly Gene Clift-Sickels, Janie Lydall Alexander, Rodney Bret, Walter D, James Carl (deceased), David Eugene Jr., and Cyrus Brandon Merchant. He married Linda Morrell Gallegos, later divorced. He was also stepfather to her 6 kids—2 girls: Cindy (deceased), Teresa; and 4 boys: Shawn, Anthony, Martin, and Matt Gallegos. He had dozens of grandkids and many more step-grandkids, along with several great-grandchildren.
In his younger days, Gene could be found at the fairgrounds where he trained race horses and chariot horses. His favorite breeds being thoroughbreds and quarter horses. Years later, Gene and his oldest daughter began training canines and have successfully raised and shown their dogs to champion titles.
Gene was a truck driver for most of his adult life, only giving it up once his eyesight got so bad he could no longer drive. He then went to work on a cattle ranch in Nevada. Dad retired shortly after his return to Utah. After retiring from truck driving, he enjoyed his dogs, home improvement projects, tinkering on his tractor, and learning and playing his guitar.
At this time, the family would like to say a huge thank you to the IHC Hospice team who have taken great care of our father in this past year: Phylis Torgersen, Blake Meirs, Jacque Barney, Lindsey Gleave, Charlie Brown and Dr. Crimin.
Gene chose to donate his body to medical science and research. His family is grateful to the University of Utah School of Medicine, Body Donor Program that has made his wish a reality. The family will hold a Celebration of Life at a later date. We will forever miss his keen sense of humor and wit. He had a big heart that only a few got to know. Dad, we will love you always and forever.
Funeral Directors: Magleby Mortuary, Richfield, Salina and Manti. Online guestbook at www.maglebymortuary.com
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