Posted 2/09/16 (Tue)
Tioga builder Merle Almer passed away last week at the age of 89.
His great-grandson, Jeffery Moe Jr., recalls Almer as a generous man and an important member of the community.
“He was the strong, silent type. But when he talked, people listened,” Moe said.
At the start of the Bakken oil boom, Almer converted the old Hillcrest Elementary School into some apartments. At the time, the strains on housing were just starting to show, so Almer’s apartments were some of the few available. Almer’s rents were quite reasonable, Moe said.
“He said, ‘I can’t let them go for nothing,’ but he did it just to help out,” Moe said.
Almer later built more on the south side of those apartments.
Moe said his great-grandfather also donated money to the high school sports program, and contributed a lot of labor to the golf course. He said Almer built the ninth hole himself.
At some time in the mid-1980s, Almer served on the Tioga Commission as the police commissioner.
He was also an aviation enthusiast and a regular presence at the airport.
“He built one plane at one time. They tore one up and built another one,” Moe said.
Almer was also a farmer.
“He was a good teacher, very patient,” Moe said, as he taught his grandson how to combine.
A complete obituary may be found on Page 3.