Funeral Service for Merlin C. “Buttsie” Gulbranson, 85, of Gilbert will be 2 PM Friday, May 6, 2016 at the United in Christ Lutheran Church in Eveleth with Pastor Steve Weston officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will be at a later date in the Gilbert Cemetery with military honors accorded by the Gilbert Color Guard. Arrangements are by the Ziemer-Moeglein-Shatava Funeral Home in Gilbert. Merlin died Monday, April 25, 2016 at the Nathan-Adelson Hospice in Las Vegas, NV He was born on August 30, 1930 to Martin and Emma (Nordling) Gulbranson in Sparta. Merlin grew up on Sparta. After graduating from Gilbert High School he enlisted in the US Navy. After he completed his tour of duty he worked for a couple of mining companies, Dupont Explosives and as a forester for St Louis County. Sixty years ago he started Gulbranson Excavating Company. He did small excavation projects and later on started installing cable for local phone and power companies. This became the mainstay of his business. In the late seventies he expanded his operation to California. Merlin also invested in many property ventures, cut and sold Christmas trees and built and operated the Cook Cable TV Company. Merlin loved to plant, harvest and cut trees into lumber. He had several dogs over the years, a special cat he called Cat because they ran out of names and enjoyed entertaining people when they came to visit him in Las Vegas. He was a generous man who loved his family and built his business with the intent of passing it on to future generations so that they could expand on and prosper from the fruits of his labor. Survivors include his wife, Loretta; four children: Kerry (Ruby) Gulbranson of Las Vegas, Connie (Walter) Petersen of Kingman, AZ, Lanette (Sherwin) Heitzman of Kingman, AZ, and Tamara (Tom) Skoglund of Gilbert; nine grandchildren: Tammy (Mike) Allen of Denver, CO, Jeremy (Jen) Gulbranson of South Dakota, Nicole Gulbranson of Las Vegas, Shane (Erin) Gulbranson of Kingman, AZ, Chad Petersen of Kingman, AZ, James (Jamie) Heitzman of Cherry, MN, Jerome (Gina) Heitzman of Kingman, AZ, Karlee Gulbranson of Sparta, and Kaylee (Jake) Fallos of Gilbert; several great- grandchildren; two siblings: Lottie Hader and Frances Van Deursen; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by five siblings: MaryAnn Jordan, Lucille Antilla, Floyd Gulbranson, Le Vern Gulbranson, and Alroy Gulbranson; and his parents.