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Clifford Gibbs Merrill

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Clifford Gibbs Merrill Obituary
As I sit at the keyboard typing out the obituary of my Dad, Clifford Gibbs Merrill, I feel humbled to sum up the life of a truly extraordinary man who was beloved by all who met him. He passed away at his home Monday, November 28, 2016 surrounded by his family.
Dad had many roles which he performed with a great zest for life. The first was husband to his wife, Rowena Murdock Merrill whom he loved with all his heart for 66 years of marriage and with whom he is now celebrating a wonderful heavenly reunion. He was protector, advisor, great comedian and superhero to his children, Annette (Richard) Bair, Roger Wayne (Sheri) Merrill, Sue (Blaine) Pharis, Clifford Brent (Deborah) Merrill, Kent Murdock (Robin) Merrill, Peggy Lue Merrill (deceased), Gaye Merrill (deceased) and Jerry Leo (Marianne) Merrill. He was a playmate, storyteller and biggest fan of each of his 28 grandchildren, 83  great grandchildren and 19 great, great grandchildren. Dad was also a loving and supportive brother to Doug, Owen, Win, Quill and Jed Merrill, Donna Harris, Rich and Is Merrill, Pauline Randall Hill, Lloyd, Parry and Cal Merrill.
Dad came into this world June 2, 1923 in Richmond, UT to Ralph and Lucille Stoddard Merrill. Dad spent his early years in the Cache Valley, living in Richmond, UT and Clifton and Cub River, ID where the family tried their hand at farming along with whatever other jobs they could find to survive the great depression. They soon moved to the Blackfoot area, eventually settling on a farm west of Moreland.  He graduated from Moreland High School and attended Utah State University on a football scholarship. (He always said the only reason they offered him a scholarship was because all the "good players" were off to the war). He and Mom both attended Utah State, after which he returned to Moreland with the apple of his eye from rival Thomas High. He spotted her playing girls basketball, fell in love and convinced her father to let her marry him in the Salt Lake temple July 1, 1943. Dad, along with 5 of his brothers served our country honorably during WW II. He was very proud of our country and taught us to love and honor the flag and to be responsible citizens. He and Mom served a mission in the Idaho Falls Visitors Center and worked in the temple where they loved serving the Lord and working with so many wonderful people. All who met him felt of his loving, caring and serving ways.
I can speak for all my brothers and sisters when I tell you that Dad left us with a legacy of life lessons which he taught by example. We learned selflessness through tireless giving of his time, talents and resources to those in need. We know true Christlike love, because each day of our lives we received it from him. We know what it means to be honest, hard workers because of his example of working all day at the INL site and then coming home to work several more hours a day on our small family farm. We all loved to go out with him to ride around on the tractor and ride calves, sheep and whatever else he could get us to ride. We learned how to have fun together as a family on our station wagon trips to Lava Hot Springs and Downata for swimming and picnics and we still love to get together for family time. Dad always inspired us with his kind heart and gentle strength.
Please join us in celebrating a life well lived at the viewing on Friday, Dec. 9th, 2016 from 6-8 pm at Hawker Funeral Home or join us Saturday, Dec. 10th for the 9:45 to 10:45 viewing, with the funeral to follow at 11 am also at Hawker Funeral Home at 132 So. Shilling Ave. in Blackfoot. If you can attend, please be ready to reminisce, laugh and give big hugs because that is what Dad would have wanted.
Interment will be in the Moreland Cemetery with military rites by the Stewart Hoover Post #23. Condolences may be sent to hawkerfuneralhome.com. In lieu of flowers please consider donating to Gaye Merrill Memorial Endowment Scholarship Fund, BYU Athletics, 336 SAB, Provo, Utah 84602 or to the Veteran's Memorial Field, c/o Ladd Carter Bingham County Commissioner, 501 N. Maple St., Blackfoot, Idaho 83221 in memory of Cliff Merrill.
Published in The Morning News on Dec. 8, 2016
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