Mervin Sexton, longtime co-owner of Manhattan Commission Company, passed away December 1, 2020, at his home in Manhattan at the age of 87.
Mervin L. Sexton was born on December 17, 1932, south of Abilene on the family farm to Lee and Katie (Burton) Sexton. He attended the Knox School District 44 from the first through the eighth grade and graduated from Abilene High School in 1950 where he met the love of his life Cecelia Ann Zey Sexton.
Mervin entered the Navy on November 1950. While home on his second 30-day leave, he was stricken with polio and retired from the Navy in May 1953. Following the Navy, Mervin attended Brown Mackey in Salina where he graduated with an accounting degree in 1957. He began his lifelong career in the livestock auction market industry at Reynolds Sale Barn in Abilene.
On June 15, 1958, Mervin went to work for then Koenig Sale Barn in Manhattan where he bought in as a partner. Mervin was co-owner/operator of the current Manhattan Commission Company Incorporated from 1969 until present. Along with the sale barn, through the years Mervin also owned the KSS Truck Line Inc., Manhattan Livestock Exchange Inc., Sale Barn Café and Lee’s Western Wear,
Mervin was a member of Seven Dolors Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus, Elks Club, Eagles Club, VFW, American Legion, and Disabled American Veterans.
Mervin and Cecilia were united in marriage on March 3, 1953, in Great Lakes, Illinois. Survivors include his wife and their children Jarda Fitzwater (Bruce) of Derby, Mark Sexton (Nikki) of Manhattan, Christine Graham of Topeka, Jill Ross of Manhattan, his sister Melva Loader of Enterprise, 16 grandchildren, and one step grandchild. He is preceded in death by his daughters Amy Hodges and Deanna Sexton, and sister Ilene Sexton Ross.
According to his obituary, Mervin’s “legacy will live on in the hearts of all who knew him. He was a kind, fair, courageous, extremely intelligent man with a love for God, his family, and his sale barn. Mervin was a gentle man who always had a kind word for everyone and who was a role model for many.”
Mass of Christian Burial for Mervin was Saturday, December 5, at the St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Abilene with Father Kerry Ninemire as celebrant. His final resting place is in the Mt. St. Joseph Cemetery near Abilene.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Beau Miller Scholarship Fund or to Seven Dolors Catholic Church in care of the Martin-Becker-Carlson Funeral Home, 414 NW 3rd, Abilene, Kansas 67410. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.martinbeckercarlson.com.