Daniel M. ‘Hank’ Caylor
Daniel M. “Hank” Caylor, 65 of Merrill, died unexpectedly at his home on Sunday, October 18, 2015.
Hank was born in Merrill on Veterans Day, November 11, 1949. It wasn’t until he was fifty years old that his brothers finally told him that they did not line Main St. with flags on November 11th because it was his birthday. Hank was born to the late C.L. “Bud” and Jean Caylor. He married Carol L. Winkelman on April 5, 1975. She survives.
He attended grade school at St. Francis Catholic School, graduated from Merrill Senior High School in 1967, and then attended Menard Junior College.
When he was a kid his father nicknamed him “Hank the Hired Hand”, a name he earned by always having an odd job or two. After college he worked at the family store, had his own exterminator business, drove school bus, and was a life guard at the Merrill pool. He began working for the city in 1973 as the first city bus driver for “Dial a Bus.” In January of 1974, he was appointed to the City of Merrill Police Department. He served as the school safety officer and was an advisor to several traffic and safety committees in the state of Wisconsin prior to retiring in September of 2001. Hank also owned Merrill Monument Company for many years.
Never being one to sit around, Hank always had an iron or four in the fire. He worked at Taylor & Stine Funeral Home before becoming the sexton at Merrill Memorial Park Cemetery in 2004. Being a police officer helped Hank learn how to help people in need, making his retirement jobs a fit natural for him.
Thanks to the influence of his father, Hank always seemed like the child the circus forgot to take along when they left town. He dreamed of traveling with the circus or carnivals and collected memorabilia and trains for most of his life. He even started his own business Wink’s Concessions. Hank loved working the Midway and interacting with everyone that came along.
Hank served Lincoln County as the County Board Supervisor for District One in the City of Merrill since 2000. He served on the Law Enforcement and EMS committee, the Health Committee, and was chair of the Personal Committee. His peers elected him vice- chair of the board during his last two terms.
Hank was also active in the local AMVETS, Ducks Unlimited, Knights of Columbus, and the Merrill Historical Society where he was past president. Hank was very into genealogy and the history of his community; he spent countless hours at the library where he would read through old newspapers and books.
Most of all, if you knew Hank you know he loved to have fun and laugh. Stories will be told for generations by family members and police officers of all the laughs, the jokes, the pranks, and the fun that Hank loved to have. His laugh was infectious and usually preceded the punch line in most jokes.
He is survived by his wife Carol of Merrill, his daughters, Meghan W. Caylor of Madison and Jenney R. Caylor of Merrill. He is further survived by his siblings, Kathryn Sensenbrenner of Madison, Mary (Eldred) Kufahl of Merrill, Margaret (Myron) Oestreich of Merrill, Peter (Colleen) Caylor of Fairfax Station, Virginia, Timothy (Donna) Caylor of Irma, as well as many nieces and nephews, He is also survived by Sally (Leonard) Smith, MI, Joey (Glen) Powers, TN, Bennie Winkelman, Wausau, Linda Koob, Gleason, Larry (Deb) Winkelman, Tomahawk and Paula Osness of Merrill. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers and sisters in laws, T. William Caylor and wife Darlene, Michael “Loopy” Caylor and wife Kathy, and Steve Osness.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, October 23, 2015 at 11:00 AM at St. Francis Catholic Church in Merrill. Father Chris Kemp will officiate and burial will follow at St. Francis Catholic Cemetery. Graveside Military rites will be performed by VFW Post 1638. Friends may call on Thursday, October 22, 2015 from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM at the Taylor & Stine Funeral Home in Merrill and on Friday from 9:00 AM until 10:00 AM at the funeral home.
Serving as honorary pallbearers will be his fellow retired members of the Merrill Police Department, a group that was family to him.
The family wishes to extend thanks to the emergency workers who responded to the home and helped Hank, especially his former fellow officers.
Online condolences can be made at Taylorstinefuneralhome.com