American Veteran 04

Donald Merrill

December 4, 1931 ~ February 26, 2024 (age 92) 92 Years Old

Donald Merrill Obituary

Don Merrill was born in Swan Creek Township on December 4, 1931 and was raised during The Great Depression by his grandparents, Oscar and Olive Montgomery. Starting at age eight, he went to work after school at the Pine Tree Dairy in Delta, and for the rest of his life, Don was proud that he’d been able to earn money to help support his family at such a young age. At the dairy he was allowed to drink as much chocolate milk as he wanted, and even at the end of his life, that remained his favorite thing to have. In high school, Don played football and basketball, as well as running track. He graduated in 1949 and was offered a football scholarship to Cedarville College, which he turned down out of a desire to remain near his girlfriend, Joan Miller.

Don was drafted into the military during the Korean War, serving in the 2nd Division 12th Field Artillery Battalion Fire Direction Center from April 1952 to May 1953, including time spent as a forward observer. Returning to the states, Don left his base in Maryland on a 20-mile weekend pass to travel over 500-miles back to Wauseon, Ohio to marry Joan on July 4, 1953. The grandfather of his future son-in-law, Judge Barber, opened the courthouse to issue the paperwork needed to marry on a national holiday so Don and Joan could return to the base in Maryland before he could be reported as missing. Don and Joan would have been married for 71 years on July 4th of this year. During their time together he worked as a neon sign installer, a truck driver, and a tool-and-die maker. In retirement, Don enjoyed going to farm auctions and fixing-up vintage tools, as well as playing ping pong and spending time with his grandchildren.

Don was preceded in death by his mother, Mildred Hines; his father, Florian Merrill; his brothers, Bill and Art Merrill; and his sister, Alice Sharpe. He is survived by his wife Joan; daughters Ann (Dr. Ted Barber), Jill (Adam Godziek), and Amy (Sean Wyatt); as well as five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

He was a lifelong member of the American Legion.

Don wished to be cremated and his family will be Celebrating his Life on March 7, 2024 from 2-4:00 p.m. at VFW Hall, Post #7427, 1133 Ottokee St., Wauseon, Ohio. Family and friends are invited to join.

Family and friends are invited to share their memories and upload photos of Don on his “Tribute Wall,” by visiting www.grisierfh.com.

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