John Merrill Pickell, 80, died Jan. 8, 2013 at his home in Zionsville.. John was born on July 22, 1932, in Dayton, Ohio to his parents, Claude Emerson and Alice Irene Grundy Pickell, who precede him in death. He was also preceded in death by three of his siblings, Patricia Pickell Oxley, and his twin brothers, Robert and Richard.. John graduated from Royerton High School in Muncie and studied Agriculture at Purdue University. He married the love of his life, Thelma Helen Coggins Pickell, Feb. 14, 1952 and moved to Zionsville in 1956.. A devoted husband and father, John and Thelma raised eight children all who survive them; John (Judy) Stewart, Beth Fuson, Cinda (Scott) Staser, Suzanne (Skip) Masten, Sam (Kim), Andy (Ericka), and Laura (Sean) McHale; his sister, Nancy Pickell Madigan, and the 18 grandchildren.. He worked for Rock Island Refinery for 37 years, was president of the local OCAW for many years and was a farmer. A man of deep faith, John was a member of the St. Alphonsus Liguori Catholic Church and served as a Eucharistic Minister, Facilities Manager and Parish Council member.. As a long time cancer survivor, John was passionate in volunteering his time in Zionsville’s Relay for Life and its Survivor’s Celebration. He “enjoyed his faith,” which his friends and his family loved that about him. John lived his life from a simple plan and mantra “Family First.” He was loved and revered by many and will be missed by all of the people who were fortunate enough to have known him.. Visitation is from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11, and from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, at St. Alphonsus Liguori Catholic Church, 1870 W. Oak St., Zionsville. A Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated at 11:30 a.m. following the visitation on Saturday.. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the PZAZ Memorial Tree Fund, Town of Zionsville, 1100 W. Oak St., Zionsville, IN 46077 in loving memory of John M Pickell.. Online condolences may be made at www.flannerbuchanan.com. Arrangements have been entrusted to Flanner and Buchanan-Zionsville.
Published on  January 9, 2013