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Merle Tuttle McGregor

March 11, 1932- October 15, 2023

Merle E. Tuttle McGregor was born in Hindsboro, Illinois on March 11, 1932 to William Albert “Bert” Tuttle and Emma Ellen Hanks Tuttle.  She was the youngest of six children:  Theo Nadeena Tuttle and companion Eva Rule, Adelia Tuttle Duffle and husband Andrew “Andy,” Emery Tuttle and wife La Verne, Howard Dale Tuttle and wife Jean, Harold “Bub” Tuttle and wife Pauline.  Her parents and all of her siblings preceded her in death.

Merle married the love of her life, Don M. McGregor in Indiana on Nov. 11, 1949.  The two of them met on a blind date in the summer of 1949, eloped to Indiana in the fall, and returned to Arcola where Merle graduated from Arcola High School in 1950.  After living in Arcola, the family moved to Vancouver, Washington in 1966 and then to Tyler, Texas in 1970 where she remained in the same house for over 50 years. Unfortunately, Don died in 1981, before he had a chance to see just how large their family would become.

Merle leaves behind five children:  Laura E. Brown with husband Arthur of Mooresville, Indiana; Don A. with wife Jeana of Bristol, Tennessee; Marta J. Kafray with husband Ashraf of Plano, Texas; David G. (whose wife Mary preceded him in death) of Graham, Texas; and Daniel L. with wife Trudy of Albuquerque, New Mexico.   She also leaves 13 grandchildren: Arthur “Alex” Brown, Jennifer McGregor Dickson with husband Jeremy, Erin McGregor, Don P. McGregor with wife Michelle, Karim Kafray with wife Saima, Rahman Kafray with wife Mehnaz, Rabiah Kafray Mehdi with husband Adil, Jeff McGregor with wife Kimberly, Michael McGregor with wife Novita, Rachel McGregor, Rebecca McGregor, Samuel McGregor, and Jianna McGregor Martinez with husband Jason.  Merle also leaves 21-great grandchildren: Jacoby, JuliaKathryn, Judah, Jubilee, and 3 foster great-grandchildren (adoption pending);  Laith, Arya and Aydin; Ibrahim and Amaya; Aishah, Asmah, Aasiyah, and Aminah; Lauren, Kamerin, and Dylan; Sofie and Gabriel. In addition, Merle is survived by many nieces, nephews, friends and other kinfolk who will miss her ability to connect generations.

Merle was very active in supporting her family over the years.  Some in the Arcola area may remember her as being active in the operation of the Ritz Theater, and Mac’s Radio Shop in the 1950’s. Others will remember her active role as leader of the Arcola Eagles 4-H Club in the early 1960’s. Another life-long way she provided support was acting as the family genealogist.  Starting in high school, she interviewed, recorded, and photographed as many of the living ancestors as possible for the Hanks, Craven, Burnett, Tuttle, Swinford, Parker, and McGregor lines.   She did original research before copy machines were available and was adept at reading and transcribing from those records.  She was instrumental in publication of “Tuttle-Tuthill lines in America” by Alva Tuttle and “The Hanks of Virginia and Westward” by Adin Baber.  Merle was also active in the East Texas Genealogy Society. She continued work through the changes in technology and much of what is now on computer websites is from her original work.  She has her own website, mtmkin.piwigo.com, which she was able to maintain until recently.  She was also active on Facebook until failing eyesight and dexterity intervened.

Merle died Sunday October 15, 2023 in Wylie, Texas where she was near family members.  A graveside service will be held Saturday, October 21, 2023 at 1:00 pm in Rose Hill Cemetery, Tyler, Texas where she will be interred next to her husband, Don M. McGregor.  In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that you make donations to the East Texas Genealogy Society or a charity of your choice.

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