Merlyn H. Collins Frayer

April 18, 1918 ‒ July 15, 2012

Marion, Ohio

Merlyn H. Collins Frayer, age 94, of Marion, died Sunday evening, June 15, 2012, at the Kingston Residence of Marion following an extended illness.

On April 18, 1918, Merlyn was born in Gambier, Ohio, the middle daughter of seven children of the late Clyde and Ida Mae (Keuhn) Collins. When she was in grade school her family moved to the Marion area for her father’s work with the Erie Railroad, where she graduated from the old Harding High School on West Center Street in the Class of 1936.

Shortly after graduating, Merlyn went on a blind date with a handsome young man, Kenneth Frayer, and they would quickly realize they were meant to be together. They were married on May 28, 1938, in the Emanuel Lutheran Church parsonage. Just seven weeks ago, Kenneth passed away on May 25, 2012, which was just three days before their 74th wedding anniversary.

At the age of 16, Merlyn began working at the S.S. Kresge Store going door to door selling furniture and later she worked for J.C. Penny as a clerk. Then, in 1953, she began helping her husband with their business, Frayer Seed, where she helped in most every capacity from paper work to driving truck and making deliveries, to even running their corn detassler. She worked hard right beside Ken until their retirement in 1973.

In addition to helping with their business, Merlyn also took great pride in caring for her three children and their home. She took care of all of the house work including sewing her children’s clothes from feed bags from the feed mill. Simply put…she truly “spent her entire life loving and caring for her family.”

A wonderful cook, Merlyn made many wonderful dishes that her family enjoyed but she may be best known for her delicious pies, especially her pecan and fruit pies. She had started making pies when she was only 12, and continued making them until just recently when she was unable due to her health.

A member of the Emanuel Lutheran Church in Marion, Merlyn had participated in their women’s club in her younger years.

Being snowbirds, Ken and Merlyn enjoyed spending nearly the past 30 winters at their home near Sarasota, Florida.

Always trying to find time for exercise, Merlyn took up bowling and golfing to try and keep in good shape. She enjoyed playing in leagues with her husband and friends, and even enjoyed playing in a golfing association in Florida for many years.

She will be dearly missed by her three children: Barbara (Jerry) Baker, Kenneth (Vicki) Frayer Jr., and John (Kathleen) Frayer, all of Marion; two grandsons and five granddaughters: Tom (Ann) Baker, Michelle (Rory) Woods, Angela Bugno, Pamela Miley, Sara (Jay) Lerner, Tirza (Jeremy) Berridge, and John Mawer; 12 great-grandchildren; 3 great-great-grandchildren; one sister, Donna Jean Trimmer of Marion; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Including her husband and parents, Merlyn was preceded in death by her grandson, Terry Baker; her great-granddaughter, Brook Lerner; three sisters and two brothers: Margaret Moore, Donald Collins, Raymond Collins, Janet Welch Spaid, and Miriam Thornburg.

The Frayer family will greet friends from 10 – 11 a.m. on Thursday, July 19, 2012, at the Denzer-Farison-Hottinger & Snyder Funeral Home, 360 E. Center St., Marion. Services honoring her life well lived will follow at 11:00 a.m., with Pastor Kevin Kehn officiating. Burial will then be observed privately by her family in Marion Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Marion General Hospital Hospice and Alzheimer’s Association.

Denzer-Farison-Hottinger & Snyder Funeral Home is honored to have been chosen to serve Merlyn’s family and your private condolences may be expressed to them online by visiting