LONDONDERRY - William O. Merrill, 86, of Londonderry, died Friday, Dec. 13, 2013, at the Villa Crest Nursing Home, Manchester.
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He was born on Jan. 31, 1927, in Manchester, a son of the late Clinton E. and Ethel (Platt) Merrill. Mr. Merrill was a graduate of Pinkerton Academy, Derry, class of 1944. He later received his B.A. from UNH in 1951 and his master's degree in 1955. He proudly served his country with the U.S. Air Force, serving during the Korean conflict, and had served from 1951 to 1979, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. Mr. Merrill has been the owner of Oliver Merrill and Sons Farm in Londonderry from 1982 until present but had spent his entire life living and working on the farm, which primarily produced apples and eggs. He was a member of the N.H. Poultry Growers, where he was a past president, and a member of the N.H. Fruit Growers Association. He was also a member of the Farm Bureau, serving on the poultry committee. Mr. Merrill was a longtime Manchester Farmer's Market vendor from the 1970s until 1999, where he was affectionately known as "The Egg Man." He was on the Governor's Commission for Vocational Education from 1980 to 1990. Mr. Merrill was a founder of the Londonderry Bank and Trust where he was at one time a bank director. He was also affiliated with Bedford Bank and First NH Bank. He was also a past president and executive director of the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Merrill was on the Londonderry Water Commission and the Sewer Commission. He was very active with conservation and land preservation efforts in Londonderry. He enjoyed travelling with the Farm Bureau and the Vocational Education Commission.
He is survived by his three sons, Charles Merrill and his partner, Sandra Spanier, Kenneth Merrill and his wife, Caroline, and Robert Merrill; two step-grandsons, Morgan and Evan Gaythorp; and one sister, Charlotte Merrill. He was predeceased by his wife of 51 years, Louise (French) Merrill, and his brother Everett Merrill.
services: Following cremation, a memorial calling hour will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 18, from 2 to 3 p.m. in the Peabody Funeral Homes and Crematorium, 290 Mammoth Road, Londonderry. A memorial service will follow at 3 p.m. in the funeral home. Burial will be in the spring at Pleasant View Cemetery, Londonderry.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Sonshine Soup Kitchen, 4 Crystal Avenue, Derry, 03038. To send a condolence or for more information, visit www.peabodyfuneralhome.com.
Published in Union Leader on Dec. 15, 2013