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Master Sergeant Merritt Leroy Wynn

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Master Sergeant Merritt Wynn Obituary

Master Sergeant Merritt Leroy Wynn was reported missing in action following an enemy attack on his unit’s position near Unsan, North Korea on November 26, 1950. After years, Master Sergeant Wynn will now have an honored homecoming and be laid to rest at Elmwood Cemetery in Centralia.

He was born on August 28, 1919, the son of Tom and Daisy (Hampton) Wynn in Centralia.

Master Sergeant Wynn is survived by his nieces and nephews, Leslie Renfro of Indianapolis, Indiana, Frank Darden Jr. of Indianapolis, Indiana, Freda Darden of Indianapolis, Indiana, Joyce Darden of Indianapolis, Indiana, Carrie Etta Darden of Indianapolis, Indiana, Marva Bledsoe of Centralia, Illinois, Edith Williams of Indianapolis, Indiana, Pamela Watkins of Texas, and Michael Rolark of Ohio.

Master Sergeant Wynn was preceded in death by his parents; his siblings, James T. Wynn, Sophia Bell, Laura Lee Knuckles, Naomi Lambert, Narvell Renfro, and Jesse Wynn; nieces and nephews, Talmadge Upchurch, Clarence Saine, Dane Wynn, Leon Wynn, Paul Wynn, and Donald Wynn.

Merritt was an accomplished boxer who was an United States Army Heavyweight Champion, Golden Gloves Champion, and he went three rounds in a sparring match with world heavyweight champion, Joe Louis. He served as a Master Sergeant in the United States Army, a member of K Company, 3rd Battalion, the 24th Infantry Regiment in the 25th Infantry Division. For his leadership and valor, Master Sergeant Wynn was awarded the Silver Star and the Purple Heart.

On July 27, 2018, following the summit between former President Donald Trump and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, North Korea turned over 55 boxes purported to contain the remains of American service members killed during the Korean War. The remains were accessioned into the DPAA laboratory in Hawaii for identification. Using circumstantial and material evidence, scientists were able to identify Master Sergeant Wynn from among these remains.

Master Sergeant Wynn’s name was recorded on the American Battle Monuments Commission’s Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, along with the others who are still missing from the Korean War. A rosette will now be placed by Master Sergeant Wynn’s name to indicate he has been accounted for. 

An honored homecoming, celebration of life graveside service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, April 15, 2023, with Pastor Val J. Powe officiating at Elmwood Cemetery in Centralia. Procession will be at 12:30 p.m. from Irvin Macz Funeral Home to Elmwood Cemetery in Centralia. Everyone is cordially invited to line Elm and Gragg Street in support of this hero and the family that mourns him. At Elmwood Cemetery, Master Sergeant Wynn will be honored with military rites performed by the United States Department of Defense and our local Centralia VFW Post 2055 and American Legion Post 446. Online condolences may be shared with the family by visiting and/or on the funeral home’s Facebook page.

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Graveside Service
April 15, 2023

1:00 PM
Elmwood Cemetery
Chapel Lane
Centralia, IL 62801


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