On October 30, 2021 Meredith Merle “Uncle Tim” Gabbard thumbed his nose at the rest of us for the final time and left to spend eternity with his daughter Leah and the love of his life, Jeannette. Merle was born at home June 24, 1936 in eastern Indiana, the second child of Hiram and Carmen Gabbard.
After growing up in rural Indiana Merle dropped out of school to talk his way into the Army at age 17 and served his country in the Korean War. Following a brief stint working at Cummins Diesel he decided factory work wasn’t the life for him and enlisted in the Air Force, serving in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he learned to be an avid skier as a member of the Air Force ski patrol, and later for an insufferable time in Greenland.
Working in a ball bearing factory, Hoover NSK, with his brother in-law Ray didn’t agree with him any more than working at Cummins did and they encouraged him to drive a truck which found him in his life long profession as a long haul trucker. Eventually he went to work for Watkins Transportation where he worked for over 20 years, travelling to every state in the lower 48 except Vermont.
Merle’s time over the road came to an end in an incredible act of grace and respect for his profession when he voluntarily surrendered his driver’s license once his eyesight had deteriorated to the point where he could no longer drive safely.
Never one to beat around the bush, Merle was well known for his acerbic sense of humor and cut-to-the-chase style of dealing with whatever life threw at him or anyone else.
Merle is survived by his daughters Jodi Brown of Edinburgh, Indiana and Meredith Gabbard and husband Michael Woodworth of Bar Harbor, Maine; grandsons Robert Sneed and Braxton Brown of Edinburgh; siblings Pete Gabbard, Karen Sneed, and Candy Campbell; his aunt Barb and a good many neices and nephews scattered across the country, including his close nephews Tim Gabbard and wife Myrna and Josh Grow, as well as his great-grandaughters Lexi and Leila. He’s also survived by his close friend for the later years of his life, Eileen Dye. He was predeceased by his parents, wife Jeannette (Sneed), daughter Leah and siblings Jack, Lee, Lois, Joan, Steve, and Debbie. As per Merle’s wishes there will be no funeral services.
The road goes on forever my friend. Thanks for always being there for all of us.