Jane B. Merrill, 78, of Rigby, passed away Wednesday, December 19, 2012, following a sudden illness.
Jane was born June 25, 1934, in Ely, Nevada, to Maralba Brown and Alta Hollingsworth Brown. A miracle baby, she was born prematurely and weighed in at 3 1/2 pounds and lost to 2 1/2. Her survival is attributed to the faith and loving care of her family. She was the youngest of three children to bless Maralba and Alta.
She was raised and attended schools in the Preston area, graduating from Preston High School. After high school, she helped at her father's caf, "The Snooty Cat," and had many happy memories of working with her dad. She also worked at the Kings store in Preston.
She was a people person and loved working with the public.
She met her husband, Charles Merrill, on a blind date, and after dating for a year they were married March 5, 1955, in Preston. They lived in Smithfield and Ogden, Utah, while Chick was finishing his schooling. They moved to Rigby in 1957 and bought a home there.
In 1962, Jane and Chick moved to Hamer, Idaho. Jane was not happy to leave Rigby, but soon grew to love Hamer. The community was small and tight-knit and she made many lifelong friends there.
While they were living in Hamer, Jane and Chick's marriage was solemnized in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple on March 27, 1965. In 1967, they moved back to their home, Rigby.
She loved the beauty of nature and their family went on many camping trips, drives and picnics. She loved to travel with Chick and they went on many trips with no destinations. They just took off driving and saw many beautiful places in our country. She loved her yard and always had a beautiful flower garden and flower pots.
She was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and held many callings in the church throughout her life in the various auxiliaries of the church. One of her favorites was being the nursery leader with her husband and she followed the lives of those children as they were growing up.
She was very involved in community service through the Jaycees and Rigby Lions Club. She enjoyed her activities with the ladies in The Red Hat Society and hanging out with her girlfriends, especially her good friend, Connie Keller.
Most of all, she loved her family. Her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends were all important to her. Her house was always open and she loved to visit. She truly taught us the value of personal relationships.
Survivors include her children, Kathy (Mike) Maloney of Rigby, John Merrill of Ucon, Idaho, and Ray (Sonja) Merrill of Kalispell, Montana; 15 grandchildren; and 22 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister-in-law, Beverly Alfrey of Rigby; and many wonderful nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; brother, John Marvin Brown; sister, Gwen Cole; and her dear husband, Charles James Merrill.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, December 29, at the Rigby South LDS Stake Center, 106 N. 3800 East in Rigby, with Bishop George Olaveson conducting. The family will receive friends from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday, December 28, at Eckersell Memorial Chapel, 101 W. Main St. in Rigby, and from 9 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Saturday prior to services at the stake center. Burial will be at Rigby Pioneer Cemetery under the care of Eckersell Memorial Chapel.
Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.eckersellfuneralhome.com.