Mearl T. Luvaas was born in Deloit, Iowa, on March 9, 1922, to Knut and Bertha Luvaas. Dr. Plimpton probably drove his Maxwell car from Denison to make the delivery, instead of his horse and buggy which he used in the many previous years of house calls. Mearl was the fifth son born to the family. He passed away Sunday, June 10, 2018, at University Park Nursing and Rehab in Des Moines, Iowa, at the age of ninety-six.
Mearl and Lillian Athey Lass were married at the United Methodist Church in Denison by Rev. Floyd Smith, on Thanksgiving Day, November 27, 1947. Their first born was Louis the next child was Lois, ten days after Mearl had been recalled to service in the Korean War. Mearl served during World War Two in the Army Air Corps in North Africa as well as Japan. After WWII, he remained in the Air Force Reserves and was recalled for the Korean War to the United States Air Force at Forbes Air Force Base at Topeka, Kansas, where their second son, Larry, was born. The base was named for Danny Forbes of Topeka that had been a pilot in Mearl’s Squadron in WWII.
On January 2, 1934, Mearl and his brother, Norman, started as carrier boys for the Ad-Visor. After several weeks, Norman’s artistic ability was discovered and he worked in the office of the paper setting up ads and doing illustration work. In 1938, Norman was able to buy the business. For 50 years, with exception of the war years, Mearl sold advertising, setup the ads, photographed the pages and printed the paper until he reached 77 years of age and decided to retire. Shortly after the local newspaper bought the name Ad-Visor and became the publishers of the paper, the new owner felt they needed Mearl back on the Ad-Visor and he returned to his former job of selling advertising for the publication. He spent 14 years with the Ad-Visor and newspaper retiring again in 2002.
For several years, the SAC Air Force Band from Offutt Field had performed in Denison sponsored by the Denison Newspapers. He planned his retirement to coincide with the appearance of the band in 2002. Following the performance of the band, a reception was held for Mearl’s retirement, much to his surprise. During the performance of the band, Mearl was called onto the stage where he spoke of being present for a radio broadcast of Glenn Miller’s Air Force band in New York. Miller looked around a stage curtain before the broadcast, looked the audience over and way back in the auditorium he spotted a couple in Army uniforms. Captain Miller called an usher over and pointed in the direction of the couple, the usher went to Mearl and the WAAC he was married to at that time and said, Captain Miller wants you to sit in the front row, an honor that couldn’t be refused. Before the war, Mearl had bought many of the Glenn Miller records. The evening of the reception, the SAC band presented Mearl a certificate of appreciation. Gordon Wolf presented a plaque for the 68 years working with advertising. As Mearl left the stage, it was to a standing ovation! Since retirement, he had been writing a newspaper column, “Thoughts By The Old Guy” which also is on his grave headstone. He was a member of the American Legion for 69 years.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Lillian in December 2009 after 62 years of marriage; daughter-in-law, Elaine; both sisters, Ella May and Lila May (Mrs. Robert Ecklund); and four brothers, Clarence, Marvel, Arthur, and Norman and their wives. Survivors include: two sons, Louis and wife, Sandy, and Larry; one daughter, Lois and husband, Robert; seven grandchildren; sixteen great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren; other relatives and friends.