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Thomas Merriman

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Thomas Merriman Obituary
Merriman, Thomas Wayne A prominent composer, arranger and executive in the commercial music and recording business and long-time teacher at the Hockaday School, died Wednesday, November 11, of complications resulting from a fall. Merriman was born March 20, 1924, in Chicago, Illinois. As a senior in high school, he directed his school's band which also performed his compositions. He served in the United States Army stationed at Camp Lee, Virginia, where he directed a U. S. Army Base Band and taught band arranging. He graduated from Indiana University in 1949, majoring in music composition with a minor in voice. He subsequently attended the Julliard School as a postgraduate student in composition. While in New York, Merriman wrote for numerous big band musicians including Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. In 1952, he began his career in commercial music, taking a position with Liberty Broadcasting, where he helped pioneer the use of musical jingles for radio. He later founded Commercial Recording Corporation and KVIL. In 1965, he co-founded T M Productions, a company that grew into a pre-eminent position in the industry. In addition, Merriman taught music and directed the Glee Club at Hockaday School from 1952 to 1971. He also participated extensively in the planning of the Fine Arts wing of the new campus to which the school moved in 1961. Merriman also directed choirs at Highland Park Presbyterian and Spring Valley Methodist churches, and served as interim director of music at Temple Emmanuel, Temple Shalom, and Lovers Lane Methodist Church. As a soloist, Merriman sang with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, numerous local churches and synagogues. He was a Life member of the American Federation of Musicians, and was recently inducted into The Texas Radio Hall of Fame. Tom Merriman's love of music enriched not only his own life, but those numerous individuals who knew him as a teacher, mentor or colleague. His generosity of spirit, dry humor, dogged loyalty, and raw talent will be greatly missed by his family, friends and many who never even met him, but appreciated his work and character. Tom is preceded in death by his father, Floyd, his mother, Martha, and his brother, John Merriman. He is survived by his wife, Jackie and stepdaughters Kathryn Howry and husband Mike, and Karen Vaughan and husband CJ, and former wife Joan Merriman, mother of son John Merriman and wife Ellen, and daughter Catherine Challacombe and husband Larry. Visitation will be Sunday, November 15, from 6-8 p.m. The funeral service will be held Monday, November 16, at 12:30 p.m., with burial following. Both services will be held at Restland Funeral Home.

Published in Dallas Morning News on Nov. 14, 2009
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