James L. MerrillMar 20, 2013 Staff
James L. Merrillof Lander died Sunday, March 17, 2013, at Help For Health Hospice Home in Riverton. He was 75.
Memorial services are at 5 p.m. Thursday, March 21, at United Baptist Church, 1201 E. Pershing in Riverton.
Visitation for friends and family is before the service from from 4-5 p.m. Thursday, also at United Baptist Church.
Immediately following, family will scatter and spread ashes in the desert, at sunset.
James Leroy Merrill was born Oct. 25, 1937, in Duncan, Okla. Formally of Central, La., he lived the past 20 years in Lander.
He was a United States Marine, Baton Rouge Shriner, and member of the BLE and Big R Club after retiring as an engineer from the Illinois Central Railroad in Baton Rouge, La.
He also was a member of United Baptist Church in Riverton and was a "regular" at the Lander Senior Citizens Center as well as an active player with his weekly card buddies.
Family members said "his passions were his family, deer and elk hunting, card playing, Harley Davidson motorcycle riding, and e-mailing daily those he loved so much."
He is survived by his wife of 21 years, Rita Ardoin Merrill of Lander; daughter and a son-in-law Lisa Ann Merrill Coarsey and husband Jimbo of Blairstown, La, son and daughter-in-law James Leroy Merrill Jr. and wife Debbi of Las Vegas, and Donna Lynn Merrill Lee of Baton Rouge; eight grandchildren, Beaux James Coarsey and Meredith of Blairstown, La., Caleb J. and Celeste Coarsey of Zachary, La., Katie Merrill, USAF, of Wichita, Kan., USMC Cpl. Jesse Lee and USMC Pfc Travis Merrill, both stationed in Japan, Anthony Lee of Baton Rouge, La., Heather and Hunter Merrill of Goodlettsville, Tenn.; one great-granddaughter, Presley Addison Coarsey, and expected great-grandson Bradlee Jameson Coarsey both of Zachary, La .
He also is survived by two aunts, two nieces, a nephew, numerous cousins and many good friends, including special friend Freyja del Duca.
He as preceded in death by his parents, Leslie "Mickey' Merrill" and Hessie Martin Merrill; two brothers, Earl B. Pickering and Leslie Merrill.
The family expressed special gratitude is extended to the staff of Help for Health Hospice Home, especially Corie, Jennifer, Sandy and Samantha, Dr. Adam Cohen (Huntsman Cancer Hospital) and the medical teams at both University and Huntsman Cancer Hospitals in Salt Lake City.
The family suggests donations for the the medical benefit of Mr. Merrill's step-great grandson, Cody Lawrence, payable to Cody Lawrence and mailed to MERRILL, 6541 Cameron Peak Court, Las Vegas, NV 89156.
Donations also may be made direct online: "http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/Diabetic-Alert-Dog-For-Cody/38496" http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/Diabetic-Alert-Dog-For-Cody/38496
An online guestbook is available: "http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/jimmymerrill/guestbook" http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/jimmymerrill/guestbook