Our father went home to heaven Sunday, June 26, 2022, to join our mother on her birthday. My brother, Duane Merrill, and I, Kimberly, had the honor to be by his side.
James W. Merrill was born Dec. 7, 1946, in Big Spring, Texas. After a college football injury ended his playing years, he joined the United States Air Force and proudly served 23 years. He then worked at the United States Postal Service for another 14 years. He met our mother, Yvonne Merrill, in Minot, N.D., where he was stationed on the air base. They were married for 51 years. We lost our mother in August 2019, and Dad’s dementia and health quickly declined.
Our dad had a sense of humor, charm and wit that all who knew him will never forget. He also was a skilled woodmaker, making anything from furniture to canoes to picture frames. My parents had a tight circle of friends who became part of our family. They would often get together to make their homemade wine, dinners at each other’s homes, holiday get-togethers, trips to wineries and exploring the amazing area in which we live. My parents also enjoyed spending precious time with their grandsons, Liam and Nolan Merrill.
My parents were my biggest fans, closest friends and dear family. I will miss them very much. I now know they are once again together and Dad has found peace.
A celebration of his amazing life will be held later this summer.