William A. (Bill) Merrill

January 10, 2019

William A. (Bill) Merrill

May 30, 1930-Jan. 6, 2019

William A. (Bill) Merrill, 88, passed away Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, at Faith Regional Hospital in Norfolk, surrounded by his wife and loving family.

Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 11, at St. Bonaventure Catholic Church. There will be a vigil service at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 10, also at the church. Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. on Thursday, and will continue from 9:30 a.m. until service time on Friday at the church. Burial will be in St. Bonaventure Cemetery with military honors by American Legion Hartman Post # 84 Honor Guard.

Bill was born May 30, 1930, in Geneva, to Wayne and Josephine (Mosley) Merrill. He graduated from St. Bonaventure High School in Columbus in 1948. He served in the United States Coast Guard during the Korean War. When he returned, he enrolled in the University of Nebraska and earned an electrical engineering degree. Later on in his career, he completed his MBA, also at the University of Nebraska.

Bill’s first marriage was to Elaine Fickel on Feb. 4, 1956, in Columbus. They had seven children and were married 21 years. Elaine died of cancer in 1977. He married Joyce (Feilmeier) Jackson on Nov. 16, 1979. Together, with her four children, the family grew to 13. At his death, he and Joyce had been married 39 years. Bill was a lifelong member of St. Bonaventure Catholic Church in Columbus. He served on many of the boards and committees and sang in the men’s choir. He had a strong and committed faith and assurance of mercy and eternal life. Bill believed in community service. He served on the Planning Commission in Columbus, and was active in Boy Scouts (he was an Eagle Scout). One of his most beloved activities was playing Santa Claus to the children in Frankfort Square.

Throughout his life, Bill had a passion for many things. Some of these passions included a deep love of books and reading, a love of travel, woodworking, a glass of good Irish Whiskey, and a cold Diet Coke. But his greatest passion was his family. He loved family gatherings and was happiest when he was surrounded by those he loved. Bill will be remembered for his definite charm, a twinkle in his eye, his quick wit, and his love for his family.

Bill is survived by his wife, Joyce Jackson Merrill; sons, Michael (Sharon) Merrill of Arizona, Patrick (Karen) Merrill of Columbus, Steven (Sarah) Merrill of Norfolk; daughters, Leigh Ann (Mark) Gdowski of Lincoln, Susan Merrill of Dallas, and Mary (Jon) Appleget of Colorado Springs, Colorado. He is also survived by his stepdaughters, Vicki Maca of Omaha, Torri (Dwayne) Obermiller of Norfolk, Terri (Kirk) Hanna of Overland Park, Kansas, and stepson Tom (Lori) Jackson of Omaha; 20 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister, Frances (Gene) Tollini, of Dallas.

He is preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Elaine, his son, Christopher; and his sister, Mary Ann.

A memorial has been established at St. Bonaventure Church in Columbus.

Condolences may be directed to www.mckownfuneralhome.com.

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