Merl R. Shaffer, 82, of Ottawa, passed away Monday, March 11, 2019.

Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Thursday, March 14, 2019, at the First United Methodist Church. Family will meet with friends from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, March 13, at Dengel & Son Mortuary. Interment Highland Cemetery, Ottawa. The family suggests memorial contributions to Franklin County Cancer Foundation c/o Dengel & Son Mortuary, 235 S. Hickory, Ottawa, Kansas 66067. Family and friends are encouraged to post their condolences and memories on Merl’s Tribute Wall at

Merl, the son of Ralph “Sandy” and Lorene (Deay) Shaffer was born at home June 9, 1936, in Williamsburg, Kansas. He lived in the Homewood area moving to Ottawa in 1962. He graduated from Williamsburg High School with the class of 1955.

Merl was united in marriage to Betty Jo Allen, Feb. 9, 1958, in Ottawa. She preceded him in death on Aug. 13, 2003. He was also preceded in death by his parents, baby sister, Etta Marie Shaffer, and twin brother, Earl Shaffer.

Survivors include four children, Raymond and his wife, LaVerne Shaffer, of Shawnee, Oklahoma; Robert and his wife; Barbara Shaffer, of Kansas City, Missouri; Evan and his wife, Carrie Shaffer, of Ottawa; and Darla and her husband, Galen Brown, of Pomona; his companion of many years, Norma Sellers; four siblings, Ralph and his wife, Sharon Shaffer, of Williamsburg; Larry and his wife, Betty Shaffer, of Pomona; Janie and her husband, Bob Cheney, of Great Bend; and Nancy Tolson and her companion, John Hickock, of Ottawa; 12 grandchildren, Angel Maxwell, Bryan Shaffer, Breena Shipman, Kaden Shaffer, Kamryn Shaffer, Kaleb Shaffer, Kristen Shaffer, Cori Brown, Hunter Thompson, Dustin Thompson, Morgan Jilek and Taylor Jilek; eight great-grandchildren, Amaia Maxwell, Landen Maxwell, Arrington Allen, Liam Shaffer, Abigail Shaffer, Silas Shipman, Levi Shipman and Brynlee Shipman.

Merl was a lifelong truck driver. When he was 14-years-old, he worked two years on the Ransomville Farm and later worked at the Sunrise Dairy. In 1959, he started hauling milk and in 1964 he acquired his own milk route which he operated until 2001. He worked 47 years with Killough Construction, hauling many different materials as an independent contractor.

He attended the First United Methodist Church and was a former member of Ruhamah Baptist Church.

Merl loved family gatherings and watching his grandchildren participate in many activities. He enjoyed watching the KC Chiefs, KU Jayhawks and driving his dump truck. He also enjoyed spoiling his dog, Smokey, and cat, Kitty.