Albert Merrill (1916 - 2013)

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Albert Philip Merrill

Ridgeland

Albert Philip "Phil" Merrill passed away peacefully in his sleep Thursday, May, 2, 2013 at Highland Home, Ridgeland, MS. Mr. Merrill was born December 21, 1916, in Paola, KS, to Lucile Bayless Merrill and Albert Foster Merrill . He lived most of his life in Northern California, most recently in Marin County, before moving to Arlington, VA, and later to Ridgeland, MS.

Mr. Merrill was active in the Boy Scouts of America and earned his Eagle Scout Award before graduating from Los Angeles High School in 1935. He attended the University of California at Berkeley ("Cal") and served as president of his fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi. While a student at Cal, Mr. Merrill was also active in Naval R.O.T.C., graduating as a commissioned officer in 1939. Mr. Merrill was in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He taught Gunnery at Northwestern University and served on two Destroyer Escorts, the U.S.S. Daly (DE-17) and the U.S.S Belet-APD 109. When he assumed command of the U.S.S Belet, he became at age 28 the youngest commanding officer of a Destroyer Escort in the U.S. Navy. He was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1945.

Mr. Merrill's occupation was the insurance and surety business in San Francisco, California, and La Jolla, California, where he began the surety bond department of John Burnham and Co. of San Diego, CA. His widow, Hortense Jones Merrill and sister, Kathryn Frances Merrill preceded him in death, He is survived by his three children, Emily Merrill Dossett and her husband James K. Dossett, Jr., of Ridgeland, MS, John P. Merrill and his wife Mariana of Alexandria, VA, and James R. Merrill and his wife Harumi, of Keizer, OR. He is also survived by six grandchildren, Anne Jackson Maradik and her husband Rich and Barry Jackson, Jr. and his wife Kelsey, of Nashville, TN, Matthew Jackson of Ridgeland, MS, Patrick Merrill of Alexandria, VA, and Marlowe Merrill and Maya Merrill of Keizer, OR, and six great­ grandchildren, Jackson Maradik, Madeline Maradik, Laura Leigh Jackson, Bo Maradik, Will Jackson and Luke Jackson. Mr. Merrill is also survived by his sister, Marjorie Merrill Risner, of Port Orchard, WA.

A lifelong Episcopalian, Mr. Merrill served on the Vestries of the parishes of St. Anselm's Church, Lafayette, CA, and St. Stephen's Church, Belvedere, CA. His interests included hiking in the High Sierra Mountains, traveling, gardening, wildflowers, and sharing his passion for the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, his summer cabin at Lake Tahoe, CA, and Yosemite National Park, where he worked during summer vacations while in college.

A memorial service celebrating the life of Mr. Merrill will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the League to Save Lake Tahoe, 2608 Lake Tahoe Blvd., South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, the MIND Center at The University of Mississippi Medical Center, 2500 North State Street, Jackson, MS 39216, Yosemite Association, P.O. Box 230, El Portal, CA 95318, or any charity.

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Published in Clarion Ledger on May 5, 2013
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