Merle Lavern Currant, 88, of Navarre, Florida passed away July 1, 2022. He was born September 28, 1933 in Douglas County, Kansas to the late Ivan Currant and Elva Currant.
Merle grew up in Marion Township, KS. He played a tight end in football and lettered his freshman year. Algebra was his favorite subject in school thanks to a special teacher that took the time to mentor him until he “got it”. In his earlier adult life, he loved owning a boat and being on the lake skiing and watching others having fun. In later years he enjoyed helping the neighborhood kids keep their bicycles and toys in good working order. He loved to work with his hands and make things – mainly just playing with his tools in his shop. Everyone was always welcome to come in and help or visit. He was always ready and able to help anyone with anything. He always had to have a project going on and a schedule.
Being the oldest of six children there were always chores to do. Before and after school he worked milking cows for the neighbor and helping out at home. He worked with the traveling harvest crews in several of the midwestern states. He also worked trimming trees and he had no fear of heights.
He started out working for WEG Dial in Wellsville, KS as a telephone repairman. He had a great interest in this type of work and continued in the telephone business for approximately the next 70 years. He worked for Gault, Moore & Stephens an engineering company and was the resident engineer in charge of many projects across the country. Then he started his own company, Currant Construction, which was in operation for several years. He then sold it to LP&H, which in turn was sold to Burnup & Sims Telecommunications Company, which was then sold to MasTec. During these years, he worked not only in multiple states but also worked on several islands in the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean, bringing fiber optic to locations that had never had it before. He was in charge of large projects on the Islands of Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean, working with a local Trinidadian partner. When these projects were completed he transferred to California, then eventually was put in charge of large projects on the Islands of Guam, Saipan, Rota, Tinian and Truk. He also supervised projects in the Federated States of Micronesia. The last project outside of the United States was on the islands of Palau, placing telephone services to seven of the islands. He always loved a challenge and would never back down no matter how impossible it may seem to be able to complete it. He worked a total of 47 years for one company and was as dedicated to them on the last day as he was on the first day.
Merle had three daughters with Nancy Strawder his first wife. His second marriage was to Lavernia Peters. He had one daughter with his third wife, Linda Foley Cole. He ended up married to Dorothy for 33-1/2 years and they shared many adventures over the years.
In addition to his parents, Merle is preceded in death by his brothers, Dale, Alvin and Elvin Currant.
He is survived by his wife, Dorothy of Navarre, Fl; daughter, Brenda (Jake) of Burlington, KS; daughter, Debbie of Burlington, KS; daughter, Tari (Rocky) of Waverly, KS; daughter, Sherri (Tommy) of Union Springs, AL; goddaughter Michele (Jonathan) of Milton, FL; 7 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister, Delma of Lawrence, KS and brother Harold (Mary) of Wentzville, MO. There are numerous other relatives and friends who are considered family.
A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, October 1, 2022 from 2:00-6:00 pm at 1780 Villa Vizcaya Drive in Navarre, FL.