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Mr. Merlin L. Christians
  • In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to John Stoddard or HCI Hospice Care Services. Online condolences are welcome at
  • John Stoddard Cancer Center
    1415 Woodland Ave., Suite E-200
    Des Mooines, IA 50309
  • In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to John Stoddard or HCI Hospice Care Services. Online condolences are welcome at
  • HCI Care Services
    401 Railroad Place
    West Des Moines, IA 50265

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Ankeny, IA 50023
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Memories & Candles

“May God comfort the family at this time of sorrow and give you the peace and strength to endure. Ro. 15:33 ”
1 of 30 | Posted by: R. G. - VA

“I haven't seen Merlin for many years, but have fun memories from school. He was a kind man. ”
2 of 30 | Posted by: Judy (Beavans) Richman - Shelby, MT

“So sorry for your loss. I was a classmate of Merlin's who enjoyed his mischievous sense of humor, I think all his classmates did! ”
3 of 30 | Posted by: Lonnie Speer (Marsh) - Maricopa, AZ

“Jan- so sad to hear about your loss. Our visits were always fun and he was so full of zest1 May his smiles and good memories give you strength at ths...Read More »
4 of 30 | Posted by: Lorraine Kaiser - Spencer, IA

Merlin and I getting a hug from my mom on our Little Rock farm. “"Jan, I wish you our deepest sympathy at this time. Merlin's parents brought him to stay on our Little Rock farm for a week or two every summer. I...Read More »
5 of 30 | Posted by: Doug Janssen - Ayer, MA

This is cousin Merlyn and I getting a hug from my mom on our Little Rock farm.
6 of 30 | Posted by: Doug Janssen

“Janet, I'm very sorry for your loss. Just in the short time Merlin was in Kavangh House I felt honored having to help care for him. Both of you...Read More »
7 of 30 | Posted by: RJ Wood - Ankeny, IA

“JanI wish you our deepest sympathy at this time. merlin was my cousin and we enjoyed lots of good times together at Grandpa and Grandma's farm when...Read More »
8 of 30 | Posted by: Jan Janssen - Leesburg, VA

“Jan,Our deepest sympathy to you at this time. As Merlin's cousin, I knew him when we young and our families enjoyed good times together on Grandpa...Read More »
9 of 30 | Posted by: Jan Janssen - Leesburg, VA

“Jan Iam so deeply saddened and sorry for your loss Merlin had been a big influence in my life many years ago As you know My land he would tease me to...Read More »
10 of 30 | Posted by: Leisa Crouch - Carroll Iowa

“Jan & Family: Your husband was the finest Police Officer! He was an honor to know and Ankenty was very privileged to have him! We have you & your...Read More »
11 of 30 | Posted by: Keith Israel - Maxwell, IA

“So sorry to hear we have lost another classmate. No doubt Merlin will be missed by many. Merlin always used to rub it in that he was older than...Read More »
12 of 30 | Posted by: Jennifer Ladman-Parker - Ojai, CA

“Jan and Family,Joyce and I are so very sorry to hear of Merlin's passing. He and I worked together on the APD. In that time I came to appreciate...Read More »
13 of 30 | Posted by: Paul Scranton - Ankeny, IA

“Jan: We are so sorry for your loss. The community has also lost a great servant and friend. He was always kind and fair to everyone. Lots of fun....Read More »
14 of 30 | Posted by: Dale & Peggy Nelson - Ankeny

“Jan: Merlin and I were on opposite sides of the courtroom table in several cases but I always respected his courtesy and professionalism. Our...Read More »
15 of 30 | Posted by: Michael McMurry - Ankeny, IA

“Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time of loss. I will miss Merlin , he always made me laugh, what a great sense of humor and a kindness...Read More »
16 of 30 | Posted by: A friend

“I will miss Merlin for his freindship and the way he liked teasing.Merlin and freinds always including me when they met for dinner. I actualy planned...Read More »
17 of 30 | Posted by: jan Throckmorton - MO

“Merlin was so good to me when my husband went down jogging and he came to the house to tell me. He was very kind and caring. He was a very special...Read More »
18 of 30 | Posted by: rheta schenkelberg - ankney, IA

“We know that Merlin is no longer in pain and has probably already set up a tee time in Heaven! Please know that's our thoughts and prayers are with...Read More »
19 of 30 | Posted by: Glen and Kathy Swanson

“A wonderful friend and public servant that gave his heart and soul to our great city. So hard to see our friends pass but he certainly left Ankeny...Read More »
20 of 30 | Posted by: Rick & Mary Hermann - Ankeny, IA

“I will always remember Merlin as a kind and caring man. My thoughts and prayers are with you. ”
21 of 30 | Posted by: Joy Harvey - Norwalk, IA

“So sorry Jan. I wish you peace at such a tiring and sad time. ”
22 of 30 | Posted by: Jean and Jerry Johnson - IA

“Merlin was one of my students-----many years ago!!! He was bright and fun loving---and loved to tease his teachers.Love and HUGS to his familyMike...Read More »
23 of 30 | Posted by: Mike & Betty Perry - Ankeny, IA

“Merlin always had a way of making you feel you were a very important part of his team. For that, I truly thank him. He cared deeply for his...Read More »
24 of 30 | Posted by: Carol Carlson - Ankeny, IA

“Merlin was a great man who really looked out for his people and was there with advice and let you know where you stand with him. His integrity,...Read More »
25 of 30 | Posted by: Ernest George - Des Moines, IA

“Merlin and I reconnected over Facebook a few years ago. I think I saw him last at our 20 year high school reunion. I went through chemo last year for...Read More »
26 of 30 | Posted by: Barbara Johnson - Albuquerque, NM

“Jan and Family, I share the pain of your loss. I am sitting here in New Hampshire, bawling my eyes out..I am inconsolable in my grief right now. ...Read More »
27 of 30 | Posted by: Steffaney Smith - Littleton, NH

“I am so sorry for your loss. He was a great man. ”
28 of 30 | Posted by: Amy Boucher - Ankeny, IA

“Your family is in our prayers. You have our condolences. ”
29 of 30 | Posted by: Lois and Ray Pedelty - Sarasota, FL

“Merlin was a friend who will be missed. My condolences to his family. ”
30 of 30 | Posted by: Larry crowell - KIMBERLING CITY

Police Emblem

Merlin Christians, age 65, died Wednesday, November 16, 2016 at Kavanagh House.
Merlin was born December 22, 1950 in Sibley, Iowa to Ray and Audrey Christians. He grew up in Ankeny, IA and graduated from Ankeny High School in 1969. He proudly served in the U.S. Army from 1971-1973. In November 1973, Merlin joined the Ankeny Police Department. He served in numerous positions throughout his career. He was honored to serve with the men and women of the Department and in the community he called home. He made many life-long friends with the members of the department. Merlin retired as Deputy Chief in December 2005 after 32 years of service.
Golf, riding motorcycles, traveling, watching old westerns (especially any and all John Wayne movies) and enjoying time with family and friends were highlights throughout his life. His sense of humor ("Merlin's World") was well known and he loved to joke and tease with those he respected and cared about.
Merlin is survived by his wife of 33 years, Janet; daughter, Julie (Jeff) Nepple of Lakeview, CO, 3 grandchildren (Cecilia, Cody and Luke Nepple); father and mother-in-law, David and Calene Smith of Kanawha, IA; sister-in-law, Linda (Dale) Carter of Des Moines and nephew, Rod (Wendy) Lamberti of Ankeny. Other very special people include the Hall family (Sandy, Toby, Shannon, Jaecee, Teagan, Chad, Julie, Nicholas, Mya and Chris), as well as a host of friends. He is preceded in death by his mother and father, Ray and Audrey Christians, his sister and brother-in-law, Mary and Rod Lamberti and numerous aunts and uncles.
Merlin felt that his life was truly blessed because he knew true love, laughter, tears, success, ups and downs and what it meant to take care of each other. Merlin considered Jan's family his family. Daughter, Julie, and her family were everything that a father could dream of. Add in all of the special people in his world, the best neighbors, many wonderful friends and he found he truly had "A Wonderful Life". Merlin felt it very important that everyone that sent prayers, stopped for a visit, gave him a ride, a phone call, brought food or helped with countless projects during the time of his illness, knew just how much it was appreciated and how thankful he was for their help.
His family would like to extend a heartfelt Thank You to the entire staff at John Stoddard Cancer Center in Des Moines for their wonderful care and friendship. The people that work there, are all above amazing. A special Thank You is extended to the nurses, staff and volunteers at HCI Hospice Care Services for their care and support for Merlin and his family.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to John Stoddard or HCI Hospice Care Services. Online condolences are welcome at