Merle Irene Winters, 94, of Gardner, passed away October 16, 2016 at Wellsville Retirement Community. Memorial Service will be 11:00 am Saturday, October 22, 2016 at First Presbyterian Church of Gardner, 138 E. Shawnee, Gardner, KS 66030. Inurnment will follow at Gardner Cemetery, Gardner, KS. Visitation 10:00 am before the service at the church. Memorial Contributions may be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Gardner, Grace Hospice or Wellsville Retirement Community. Arrangements by: Bruce Funeral Home, Gardner 913-856-7111. Condolences may be left at

Merle was born July 20, 1922 in Gardner, KS to George M. and Ethel M. (Moore) Rankin. She graduated from Gardner High School in 1940 and was a life-long Gardner resident. Merle married Henry Carl Winters on July 20, 1940 in Topeka, KS. She worked for Cramer Products as the Mailing Dept. Supervisor, then at North Supply doing clerical and accounting work and later she was the Gardner Assistant City Clerk. Merle was a life-long member of the First Presbyterian Church of Gardner and was a Sunday School teacher for many years. She was awarded the “Lady of the Year” by the Beta Sigma Phi Sorority. Merle helped organize the Cub Scouts in Gardner. Merle and Carl were avid campers, serving as camp hosts at Pomona Lake and Melvern Lake. After retirement, they were snowbirds for many years in Corpus Christi, TX. She was always smiling, a very special friend to many, loved children and will be dearly missed by family and friends.

Merle was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Carl in 1989; infant brother, George; sisters, Velma Hughes and Marcy Lawrence; brothers, Howard and Harold (Bunny) Rankin; two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. She is survived by her sons: Carl D. (Vicki) Winters of Gardner, Gary L. (Veronica) Winters of Hillsdale and Fred E. (Patricia) Winters of Gardner; brother, Homer (Pat) Rankin of Gardner; 9 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; 3 great-great grandchildren; sister-in-laws, Freda Metzger of Topeka and Carolyn Rankin of Gardner; brother-in-law, Irvin Kneedler of Gardner and many nieces and nephews.