Sterling celebrates Merlin Kropf’s 70th birthday

A big smile and thumbs up as Merlin sits in the cab of the Sterling firetruck Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023.

Sterling friends and family rolled out the red carpet Sunday, Sept. 17, for one of their most beloved, Merlin Kropf.

Known citywide, Merlin once ran from business to business to visit many people in the city. An accident in 2006 left him less mobile, but the spirit and charm never left.

Rita Miller, Merlin’s sister, organized a surprise party at Champs so his many friends could celebrate with him for his 70th birthday.

Alex Paschal

Alex T. Paschal

Photojournalist for Sauk Valley Media