Charles Merle Gile passed away peacefully at his home in Oklahoma City on Tuesday, July 6, 2021. A trial lawyer in Oklahoma for nearly 50 years, Merle was born in Wellington, Kansas, and was the son of the late Charles and Virginia Gile. He grew up in South Haven, Kansas, and moved to Oklahoma, where he attended the University of Central Oklahoma, and received his law degree from Oklahoma City University in 1972.
He raised his four children in the Greens in Oklahoma City, where he enjoyed playing golf and quality time with his friends and family. Merle lived every minute of life to its fullest; he worked as hard for his clients as he did enjoying time with his loved ones. He will be missed by all who knew him.
Merle was one of those lucky individuals for whom work was his life’s passion. He enjoyed defending those who had no other champions and relished the challenge of fighting for the underdog. While he was well known for high profile criminal trials, he did not hesitate to help those accused of petty offenses, and he often helped others on a pro bono basis. He was admitted to practice law in several state and federal courts, and even advocated for his clients before the United States Supreme Court. The Oklahoma Criminal Defense Lawyers Association honored his zealous advocacy for his clients by awarding Merle the Clarence Darrow award in 1990. Merle never retired, seeing no reason to stop doing what he loved. He was prepared and planning to advocate for a client in court on the day he passed away.
Merle is survived by his beloved wife Carol, who was with him when he passed; his daughter Lee Munoz (Jose); son Nick; daughter Lin Dee Howorth (Brett), and granddaughters Ainsley and Braelin; daughter Lisa and granddaughter Audrey; stepdaughter Kacee Poteet (Brandon) and grandchildren Janie, Jake, Molly, and Blair; brothers Kenny (Dianne); John (Candy); and sister Charlene (Curtis), as well as several nieces and nephews, extended family, and countless friends.
Inspired while participating in Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College, Merle wrote a poem about his goals in life. In conclusion, he wrote: “And when it is time for my final rest, May all that have known me say, ‘he was one of the best.’ Merle’s friends, family, colleagues, and former clients are all reflecting on the life of a great man, a legend in his field, and definitely “one of the best.”
A celebration of Merle’s life will be held on July 13, at 2:00pm at Coles Garden in Oklahoma City, and a graveside service will be held at Rose Hill Cemetery on July 14, at 11:00am in South Haven, Kansas, with visitation to follow. Donations in memory of Merle may be made to the South Haven Fair Association, P.O. Box 54, South Haven, Kansas 67140.
Services are under the direction of OK Cremation & Funeral Home, Oklahoma City.
Anyone wishing to honor Merle with a donation, we have created a scholarship fund to support a senior from his home town high school, South Haven High School in South Haven, Kansas. There is a donation site on Facebook: C. Merle Gile Memorial Scholarship. Checks can be mailed to Hospital Discount Pharmacy, c/o C. Merle Gile Memorial Scholarship, 104 S. Bryant Ave, Edmond, OK. 73034
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C. Merle Gile Memorial Scholarship
c/o Hospital Discount Pharmacy 104 S. Bryant Ave., Edmond OK 73034