Floral 09

Rose (Fugate) Merrill

July 27, 1933 ~ June 5, 2020 (age 86)


Rose Marie Fugate Merrill

July 27, 1933—June 5, 2020

Rose was the daughter of William (Bill) and Lois Motsinger.  She was born in the family country home north of Benton, Iowa and lived most of her life in Ringgold County.  She grew up on the farm helping her dad with chores and her mother with cooking, canning, gardening, and sewing.  Rose attended several rural schools, Kellerton School, and graduated from Grant City, Missouri High School in 1951. 

After graduation, she moved to Kansas City, Missouri for two years where she worked as a secretary/bookkeeper for the Jones Stores.  She returned to Iowa after her marriage to Arnold Dean Fugate in 1953.  After Dean returned from the Air Force, they established their home on an acreage in northeast Kellerton where they lived together until Dean’s death in 1999.

God gave Dean and Rose four children—Vickie Jean, Tamara Marie, Michael Dean, and Robbie Lance.  Rose was a kind and fun loving mother and grandmother who always put family first.  She often said she felt “blessed to raise and love her children.”  Rose was thrilled when she became a grandmother and spent many hours “playing with the grandkids.”

Rose was a seamstress and made most of her children’s clothing.  She taught Sunday school and vacation bible school, was a den mother for Cub Scouts, and helped organize numerous community events in Kellerton. She loved dressing up as a clown and walking in parades to make people smile.  Rose was an active member of the Kellerton American Legion Auxiliary for over 50 years and served in several leadership positions at the local and county level.  She was an active member of the Kellerton Christian Church, and her faith in God was the center of her life.  Rose enjoyed camping and traveling.  Most of all, she enjoyed spending time with her family. 

After Rob started school in 1976, Rose went to work with her sister Retha French in her Art Gallery. They worked together for the next 10 years.  Rose was the activity director at the Mt Ayr Health Care Center from 1986 to 2001.  She thoroughly enjoyed the residents at the facility, and they held a special place in her heart. 

Rose lost her first husband Dean Fugate in September 1999 after a one-year battle with cancer. She later married Dean Mark Merrill in 2001, and they lived together in Kellerton, Mt Ayr, and Madison Square in Winterset.  They enjoyed traveling and spending time together until Dean’s death in 2014.   Rose moved to Mill Pond in Ankeny in 2017 where she lived until her death.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother-Robert Motsinger, sister-Retha French, and her two husbands-- Dean Fugate and Dean Merrill.

Left to cherish her memory are her children: Vickie Lewis and her husband Robert, Tammy Fugate, Mike Fugate and his wife Cindy, and Rob Fugate and his wife Jennifer; 7 grandchildren Scott Lewis and his wife Lorry, Jeremy Lewis and his wife Michelle, Brian Lewis and his wife Kacie, Mackenzie Fugate, Tyler Fugate and his wife Felicia, Jason Fugate, and Rylie Fugate.  Also surviving are her sister Judy Minnick and her husband Lyle, brother-in-law William (Bill) French, nieces and nephews, and many friends.   

Rose will always be remembered for her kind and loving spirit.  She will be missed by all that she touched with her sweet smile, gentle heart, great sense of humor, and love of life.

Memorials are to the Alzheimer's Association.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Rose (Fugate) Merrill, please visit our floral store.


Open Visitation Without Family Present
June 10, 2020

12:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Armstrong Funeral Home
205 West Monroe St
Mount Ayr, IA 50854

Graveside Service
June 11, 2020

11:30 AM
Maple Row Cemetery
Kellerton, IA 50133

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