After a lifetime of faith, love and dedication to his family, career, and community, Merle Francis Crossland died Tuesday September 10, 2019 at his home surrounded by loved ones and his family pet Duchess.
Merle was born June 20, 1931 in Quincy, a son to Dr. Orin and Mabel Thompson Crossland. He graduated from Bowen High School where he set records on the basketball team and was known as a high achieving student.
He graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for pre-med and went on to attend medical school at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1952. He completed his medical degree in three years instead of the traditional four. Merle furthered his training four more years to become a Board Certified General Surgeon. His medical residency was interrupted for two years when he served in the United States Air Force as a captain in Mobile, Alabama.
On December 29, 1956, he married Dolores Ann Whitaker. They lived in Chicago where he completed the remainder of his residency at Illinois Central Hospital. In 1960, Dolores and Merle moved to Quincy where he joined his father-in-law's medical practice at Quincy Clinic. Merle went on to serve as an instrumental part in the expansion of Quincy Clinic into what is known today as Quincy Medical Group. He touched and saved many lives throughout his 35 years of practice and was known not only for his medical talent, but also for his compassion and concern for each and every patient.
His career achievements and involvement in community organizations include:
Diplomate of the American Board of Surgery, Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, President of the American Cancer Society Board and Adams County Chapter, President and member of the Quincy School Board, constituent of bringing Flinn Stadium to QHS, board member of Good Samaritan Home and Sunset Home, President of Quincy Civic Music Association, Chair of Illinois Veterans Home Planting Project, President and board member of Saint Mary's Hospital Medical Staff, board member of Blessing Hospital, organizer of Quincy Beautification Group, Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery for the Southern Illinois University Medical School, member of the Midwest Surgical Association, John Wood Community College Steering Committee for Horticulture and Greenhouse program, Quincy Tree Committee, Great River Barber Shop Chorus, Pursuit of Learning in Society (POLIS) at Quincy University, Quincy Country Club, United Way, Illinois Division of American Cancer Society, American Medical Association, Illinois Medical Society, Adams County Medical Society, American Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, and Governor American College of Surgeons. In addition to his involvement in numerous organizations, Merle devoted nearly 1,400 hours of volunteer work over the past several years to the Quincy Civic Music Association, Quincy Library Foundation Board, Quincy Society of Fine Arts, and many others.
Merle enjoyed cooking, working in his garden, the arts, and traveling. He loved being with his family, especially during the many trips he took with them to Marco Island, Florida and Glenville, North Carolina. But the greatest love of all was his family and faith. Merle was a devoted member of Vermont Street Methodist Church, read The Bible 15 times and was working on his 16th, wrote in his journal each day, and prayed regularly.
Merle is survived by his three children, Mary Weiwel (Gary) of Quincy, Ellen McIntyre of Quincy and Mark Crossland (Crystal) of Springfield IL; Eight Grandchildren: Eric (Kristina) Goedereis of St. Louis, Adam (Stephanie) Goedereis of Lacey WA, Brian McIntyre and Sarah McIntyre of Quincy IL, Zachary Crossland, Mackenzie Crossland, Benjamin Crossland, and Nicholas Crossland of Springfield IL; Two Great-Grandchildren, Jack Goedereis of St. Louis MO, and Elliana Goedereis of Lacey WA; two sisters Edith Glosecki of Seattle WA and Rosie Jacobs of Quincy IL.
In addition to his loving wife, Ann, Merle was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers Arlo and Maurice Crossland, and one sister Gladys Koesher.
Visitation: 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Friday September 13, 2019 at Hansen-Spear Funeral Home
Services: 10:00 a.m. on Saturday September 14, 2019 at Vermont Street Methodist Church with Rev. Patty Johansen officiating.
Burial: Greenmount Cemetery, Quincy, Illinois with full military honors conducted by American Legion Post #37.
Memorials: Community Foundation (Dr. & Mrs. Merle F. Crossland Family Fund), the Quincy Civic Music Association, Vermont Street United Methodist Church or a charity of the donor's choice
Hansen-Spear Funeral Directors are in charge of arrangements.
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Mary, Ellen, Mark and Family.....The Blessman Family is greatly saddened with your dad's passing. He was a magnificent man....and all of us loved him. How lucky Dad was to have met and become terrific friends with your Dad at the University of Illinois. They were in each other's weddings, and the two couples were so close. As Kate and I got older and went to Illinois, we loved hanging with your folks at Illini tailgates, games and post game celebrations. Wonderful friends like your Mom and Dad don't come along often! From their early days together, to get togethers on East Avenue, in Western Springs, on Marco and in NC, our parents had great fun. And how lucky we kids were to be friends also. We treasure your friendships, and hope Dad, Merle and even Ron Mensen are continuing their fun in Heaven. Love you guys. Lee, Marshall, Kate and Charmaine
Mary and family, so sorry for your loss!
Melody Jones Irwin
Our sincerest condolences on the loss of your dear Dr. Merle Crossland. We are so grateful for the care he provided to our family over his 35 years of practice. He exemplified the highest ethics and compassion setting the bar for medical providers by practicing the art of medicine, compassion and skill at the highest level. He excelled in the love of his family and community and was not afraid to provide gentle guidance so others could benefit from his brilliance. We will always treasure visits to Marco where we were able to enjoy seeing him enjoying well earned Island relaxation. Truly one of a kind who together with your dear mother and grandmother Ann, left a wonderful Crossland legacy. God Bless you all. Tom & Lisa Scholz & Anthony Musolino
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