Aged 87, passed away in Rockford, Illinois, March 20, 2015, after a lingering illness. Longtime resident of Turlock from 1962 until 2006, Merlin Carlson is survived by his spouse Marianne (Dickow), two daughters; Deborah Carlson, Dana (Robert) Randel, granddaughter Miranda Randel and numerous step-children and step-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his first wife Marilyn (Lembke) and son Daniel Carlson. Merlin was born and raised in Rockford, IL and farmed in the area until he moved his family to Turlock in 1962. He managed Arlinda Holsteins Dairy for many years and then started his own auction business (Merlin Carlson Sales and Service) buying and selling Registered Holstein cattle. In 1981 he became actively involved in the belgian horse business including a draft horse show and sale. He was a member of Beulah Covenant Church and helped start Cornerstone Covenant Church. Both he and wife Marilyn were active in the ScandiFest Celebration. He returned to Rockford, Illinois in 2006. Services and burial will be at Anderson Funeral Home, Belvidere, Illinois.