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Richard D Merrill

1940 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Richard D Merrill Obituary
Long time Washington & Morgan County resident

On Sunday, April 3, 2016, Richard Merrill passed away peacefully in Fort Morgan, Colorado. He was being comforted by family members. Richard was 76 years old, born in Brush, Colorado on March 28, 1940, the first child born to Laurence and Hope Merrill.
He was raised in the farm and ranch community of Woodrow (south of Brush) and graduated from Woodrow High School. He worked on various farms and ranches during his school years. Following high school, Richard worked for a couple years as a heavy equipment operator in the Denver area. Years later, he still relished the experience, and told stories about how he carved out roads and trails in the foothills and mountains west of Denver.
In 1960, Richard married Barbara (Blake). Born into this marriage were four children (Jim, Troy, Penny & Crystal). Soon after the birth of their first child, Richard and Barbara returned to the Woodrow area in 1962, to start their family farm (which they operated for over 30 years).
Richard was very active in the Woodrow community and the Woodlin School. He was a member of the Young Farmers Organization and a cattle buyer/ board member for the National Farmers Organization. He also donated his time and resources for school and community activities. Richard was often asked to draw on his heavy equipment experience to help open up roads, for the county and oil fields, after heavy storms. It was also very common, following storms, to find Richard, on his dozer, going around the community opening up rural driveways for neighbors.
Richard had a big heart and was always ready, willing and able to help out neighbors and family members. Over the years, he also helped numerous high school and college kids with their first employment, by providing them with part time jobs on the farm. The Merrill farm & household always had an open door for people - if they needed help, a place to stay, or a job to get back on their feet.
After 30+ years of farming, Richard & Barbara moved to Fort Morgan. Richard worked over 10 years for Hill Petroleum, delivering products to farmers, ranchers and businesses in the Eastern Colorado Region. He really enjoyed his time with Hill and appreciated the independence it gave him to work with the customers, many of whom were long-time community friends in Morgan and Washington Counties. He was very humbled when Hill Petroleum held a retirement party for him.
In his leisure time, Richard enjoyed road trips to visit friends and family in various states, playing cards and cribbage. He also enjoyed poker games with friends, as well as occasional trips to Black Hawk. However, his greatest love was his family. He cherished time with his grandchildren, attending every possible sporting event and school function. He was a very proud Grandfather!
Richard was preceded in death by his parents, Hope and Laurence Merrill, his brother James P. Merrill, his sister Carol Hart and a daughter, Penny Dawn Merrill. Richard is survived by his wife, Barbara, his children, Jim Merrill (Denver), Troy Merrill and wife Mona (Woodrow), Crystal Osthoff and husband Shawn (Fort Collins), his sister Sandy McGee and husband Bernard (Thornton), grandchildren Logan and Sidney Merrill (Woodrow) and Dillon and Allison Osthoff (Fort Collins) and many nieces & nephews.
A funeral mass was held at St. Helena Catholic Church in Fort Morgan at 10 am, Friday, April 8, 2016. Interment and burial will follow at Brush Memorial Cemetery. Memorial donations can be made to St. Helena Catholic Church in Fort Morgan.
Published in Akron News-Reporter on Apr. 6, 2016
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