Merle E. Vogus

Merle E. Vogus, age 96, passed away on October 12, 2017 in McMurray, Pennsylvania.  Merle was born on June 15, 1921 in Allegheny Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania to Martin Leroy Vogus and Lena Ruth (McGinnis) Vogus. He graduated from Franklin Area High School in 1940. He joined the armed forces shortly after graduation and saw combat in Europe with the 34th Infantry Division of the Army National Guard. After training in Ireland, Merle, who attained the rank of First Lieutenant, fought in North Africa, Sicily, and Italy and participated in the liberation of Rome. Merle was injured in the Battle of the Volturno River and was hospitalized in Tunisia for four months, after which he was sent back into combat. He was awarded the Purple Heart for this combat injury. The 34th Infantry Division is credited with seeing the most front-line combat of any US division during the war. Merle rarely spoke about his experiences in the war.

After World War II, Merle became an electrician and settled in the Pittsburgh area. He was a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union Locals 5 and 712. Merle hunted deer and small game all of his life in Pennsylvania. He was an excellent shot. 

Merle moved to the Orlando, Florida area after he retired. There he became an avid horseshoe pitcher and participated in national tournaments, taking many firsts.

Merle moved back to the Pittsburgh area in 2011 and lived with his son Thomas and daughter-in-law Kathy until recently.  Merle was a kind and generous father, always ready with a gentle tease or usually self-deprecating funny quip. He would amuse and amaze his children, grandchildren, and nieces and nephew with his ability to wiggle his ears. 

Merle is survived by his sisters, Lola Rial and Geraldine Brown (Bill), both of Franklin, PA, and his children Susan Martin (John) of Blairsville, PA , Danny Vogus (Sarah) of Charlottesville, VA and Thomas (Kathy) of Burgettstown, PA. He is also survived by five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Merle was predeceased by his two wives, Jean and Dotty, his parents, four brothers, one sister, and one grandson, Brian Martin. The family is planning a private memorial service for Merle.

Cremation has taken place and inurnment at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies, Bridgeville, PA.

Professional Services by McConnell Funeral Home, 447 Pine Street, Hookstown, PA 15050.

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