Doris J. Merrill
1924 - 2021
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NANTICOKE — Doris J. Merrill, 97, passed away Thursday, April 29, 2021 at the VA Medical Center, Plains Twp.

Born February 1, 1924 in Nanticoke, she was a daughter of the late George and Mae Ales Sadowski. After graduating from Nanticoke High School, she was employed as a stenographer for the Luzerne County Commissioners until 1944 when she enlisted with the US Navy WAVES. Doris served her country proudly during World War II working in Naval Intelligence at Cape May, N.J.

Earning her bachelor's and master's degrees, Doris had a long teaching career at Wilkes University, Penn State and Nanticoke High School, where she was a huge supporter of the sports programs.

Doris was a lifelong member of St. John's Lutheran Church, Nanticoke where she served on the council and held several offices, was active in WELCA and taught Sunday School in earlier years. She was a member and supporter of numerous organizations, including Past Worthy Matron of the former Order of Eastern Star Chapter #176, Nanticoke, and currently a member of Chapter #396, Dallas; American Legion Post #350 Auxiliary; Paralyzed Veterans, and Woman of the Month Club. She also participated in the National Veterans Wheelchair Games, earning numerous medals over the years.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 37 years, Paul W. Merrill on April 3, 1982; her sons, George Merrill in infancy and Paul W. (Pepper) Merrill II on July 7, 2014; a grandson, Toby Merrill in 2016; a brother, George Saunders III; and sisters, Jeanne Salley and Ruth Davison Wilson.

Surviving are her grandchildren; Heather Challenger, Phoenixville and Paul W. Merrill III of North Wales; great-grandchildren, Olivia and Emma Merrill, Morgan Challenger and Toby and Madeline Merrill and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Private services will be held at St. John's Lutheran Church with the Rev. Michele D. Kaufman, her pastor, officiating. Interment will be in Nanticoke Cemetery.

A public memorial service will be planned at a later date and will be announced.

In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution in Mrs. Merrill's memory by sending a donation to, or, for the Merrill Memorial Garden at St. John's Lutheran Church, 231 State Street, Nanticoke, PA 18634.

Funeral arrangements are in the care of Davis-Dinelli Funeral Home, 170 East Broad St., Nanticoke.

To leave an online condolence, or, expression of sympathy to the family, please visit

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Dallas Post from May 4 to May 5, 2021.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
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8 entries
May 7, 2021
Doris was one of the most positive persons I have ever met! She didn't let her handicap get in her way and was so pleasant to be around. Being a member of the PASR I would see her at luncheons and enjoyed chatting with her. Condolences to her family losing such a wonderful human being!
Jeanne Primatic
May 7, 2021
always a smile to greet people...enjoy paradise
Christine Yale
May 5, 2021
Sorry that we will be without the snowbunny when Doris would back from Florida. I remember the good time we had up at NayAug Park with the family reunion. You will be mised. God Pleas
Thomas Baldwin
May 5, 2021
My deepest sympathy to the family of Mrs. Merrill. As a nervous young student just entering high school I was lucky enough to have her for homeroom. She helped me make that transition with her humor, her spirit, and her genuine concern for the students. I've made a small donation to the Toby Merrill Scholarship in memory of her. After reading that the scholarship "was created to help change the lives of children and make a difference through education", I thought it was appropriate because that is what she did for so many of us. Rest in God's peace now, dear Mrs. Merrill.
Louise Duda
May 5, 2021
I met Doris at the VA Hospital back in the late 80s when I began working there. She was one of the kindest, most interesting and beautiful people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. She had such a zest for life, absolute love and adoration for her family, and amazing stories to tell about her life and adventures. I've thought of her often over the years since I left the VA in 2002. My sincerest condolences to her family. It was an honor to have known her and counted her as a friend, even if for a short time.
Liz Perrella
May 5, 2021
Doris was my second mother from early childhood days at Lake Silkworth through more recent communications. She was a fighter, never complaining of her personal struggles. She left such a positive impact on anyone whom she met. Rest In Peace, dear friend.
Sally Pratt Thomas
May 5, 2021
I am so sorry to Mrs. Merrill, family and everyone who loved her. Which I certainly did. Forever my favorite teacher. She will always be in my heart.
Jackie Albanese
May 5, 2021
May you `Start Each Day in a Happy Way!´ As you begin your journey with our Lord in Heaven! Thank You for Making Everyone of your Students feel so Special & Loved by you! Heaven has Gained one `Spunky Spirited Angel!´ My Deepest Sympathy to the Merrill Family..God Bless you at this Difficult Time! The Pleasure of Knowing her & having her touch my life so deeply was all mine! I have Beautiful Memories of this Beautiful Women! XoXo
Linda Letizi
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