Dwight Merriman Jr. |
Dwight L. Merriman Jr., loving husband and father, passed away peacefully after a brief illness on March 20, 2013 in Marin. He was 82. Dwight was surrounded by his entire family, including his wife of 54 years, Sue Anne, and his children Dwight Livingston, Greg Raymond and Cynthia Anne, all of whom were at his bedside at the time of his passing. Dwight was predeceased by his brother, Phillip Edwin Merriman, and survived by his family including five grandchildren, Grace, Whitney, Olivia, Phoebe, and Griffin, whom he loved dearly. He was constantly in the thoughts and prayers of his countless friends in his final days, who are so thankful for the privilege of his friendship.
Dwight was born in San Francisco on August 25, 1930, to Emily Porter and Dwight Livingston Merriman. He attended the Town School and Commodore Sloat School in San Francisco, graduated from The Tamalpais School for Boys in San Rafael in 1948, and received his Bachelor's Degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1953, after serving in the Air Force. Dwight also received an honorary degree in 1990 from Golden Gate University, where he served on the Board of Directors. Dwight began his career at E.S. Merriman& Sons, a commercial real estate firm established by his grandfather, where he ultimately became CEO.
Dwight was best known for his infectious affability and intractable smile. He made instant and deep friends across every age category - Dwight was aptly monikered by one of his son's friends as the "Great Uncle." Meeting Dwight for the first time was like catching up with an old friend. He had an enormous positive impact on everyone around him who shared his goodwill and positive outlook on life, and he leaves behind countless admirers. Dwight had a clarifying ability to tell it like it is and get to the bottom of it all, whatever the subject. He had a unique blend of stoicicsm and humanity, drive and compassion which shone through in everything he did, abundant throughout his final days with his family. He was loyal to the friends and causes he cared about without reprieve, gesturing a "Go Bears!" high sign to his family from his bed at Marin General in support of his Alma Matter.
Dwight's wit and sense of humor were a sought after resource by all of his many friends. If you needed a good laugh or an uplifting moment Dwight was always there, ready to oblige. Dwight spread incalculable joy into the lives of everyone he met or knew, and anyone that spent time with him understood what a special gift of friendship he provided.
Dwight was a passionate and accomplished outdoorsman. Among his most treasured places was a wilderness cabin on Silver Lake in Lassen County, which his father built in 1939. Spending time on the water fly fishing with his family, or in the marshes of California duck hunting were among the many avocations Dwight pursued with passion over his storied lifetime in the outdoors.
Dwight was a major force in the California Waterfowl Association for countless years, raising funds and awareness for the preservation of wetlands and habitat for waterfowl. His championship of this cause has inspired many people to follow in his footsteps and carry on the important work he sponsored. Always an advocate of kids and their ability to be active, Dwight served on the Board of the San Francisco Metropolitan YMCA and was instrumental in establishing the YMCA Center in Novato. After retiring from his career in real estate, Dwight served on the Board of the Herbst Foundation in San Francisco, where he assisted in directing the firm's philanthropic efforts covering a wide range of community and conservation causes.
Dwight was an active member of severaclubs including the Bohemian Club, the Pacific Union Club and the Colusa Shooting Club. Dwight was well known for an annual mallard barbeque dinner he made for his campmates at the Bohemian Grove.
Consistent with Dwight's commiment to the outdoors and habitat preservation, a dedicated fund has been set up in his honor at the California Waterfowl Association. In lieu of flowers, Dwight's family would encourage any donations to be made to the Dwight L. Merriman Jr. Waterfowl Conservation Fund at the California Waterfowl Association, attention John Carlson, 1346 Blue Oaks Boulevard, Roseville, California 95678.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, April 21st at 2pm at the Marin Art and Garden Center, 30 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., in Ross.