Merl Lewis Flatt

Merl Lewis Flatt was born July 16, 1925 in Rapid City, SD to Floyd and Pearl (Street) Flatt and died at the age of 94 on Saturday, September 28 at Avantara North in Rapid City.
He attended school at Kruse School, Fairburn and Cottonwood and spent his senior year in Wall graduating in 1943. Merl joined the Navy on October 30, 1943 during WWII and attended Aviation Ordinance School in Norman, Oklahoma. He served aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Cowpens and saw action in the Pacific and China Sea, survived the deadly Typhoon Cobra that capsized a number of ships and was honorably discharged on December 24, 1945.
Merl and Eileen Babcock were united in marriage on April 12, 1946 and had been married for 72 years at the time of her death in February 2019. He was baptized and a member of the United Methodist Church in Wall for many years and later joined the Canyon Lake United Methodist Church in 2007.
He went to work for West River Electric Association in March 1947 and retired March 31, 1987 after 40 years of service. He particularly enjoyed climbing poles with his belt and hooks and his lineman skills were described as nothing short of “poetry in motion” by his co-workers.
Merl was past commander of the Wall American Legion, a member of the Wall City Council and served as president of the Wall Swimming Pool for many years. During those busy years he enjoyed tinkering in his garage, playing cards and horseshoes with his friends and neighbors and riding motorcycles in the Badlands with his sons and oldest grandson. Merl also enjoyed traveling, especially to Hawaii and following his retirement, divided his time between Wall and Rapid City. He and Eileen moved to Rapid City in 2003 and lived for several years at the Alps Park Apartment before moving to the Primrose Retirement Community in Rapid City and later to Avantara North where he was residing at the time of his death.
Merl is survived by sons Douglas (Pat) Flatt Pinon Hills, CA, Dwight (Melanie) Flatt Chandler, AZ, sister Alice (Chris) Woods Edina MN, grandchildren Heather Flatt, Dustin (Kalli) Flatt, Michelle (John) Banks, Michael Flatt, Misty (Saleel) Mathews, Jason (Katie) Flatt and great-grandchildren Devesh Mathews, Ajay Mathews, McKenzie Flatt, Autumn Flatt, Journey Flatt and Graeden Flatt.
He was preceded in death by his wife Eileen, parents, brothers Elmer and Olin and sister Ione Bannister.
Graveside only services will be held at a later date for both he and Eileen at the Black Hills National Cemetery in Sturgis, SD.
Family and friends may leave condolence wishes in his online guestbook at

The Pioneer Review

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Philip, SD 57567
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