Ritchie Billie Merry (03/16/1918 - 05/22/2011)

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MERRY, Ritchie Billie

Ritchie Billie Merry, affectionately known to family and close friends as Poppy, was born in Crane, OR to Sherman D. and Lula A. Pruitt Merry on March 16, 1918. He passed peacefully in his sleep on May 22, 2011 in Spokane, WA, at the home of his granddaughter where he had resided for the past 10 years. Poppy was 93.

As a boy, his family moved to Lewiston, ID in 1927 where Ritchie was an honor student at Whitman Elementary. In 1934 they moved to Weippe, ID where he graduated high school in 1936 and was co-valedictorian of his senior class. In his junior year of high school he met the love of his life Dorothy E. Bonner. They married on April 2, 1938. The newlyweds settled in a small home adjacent to his parents farm on the North Fork of the Clearwater River. Here he raised Angora goats with friend and partner Dale Miles.

In the next four years two daughters, Janice and Linda, would join the couple. In 1946 they left the farm to eventually settle in Weippe where Ritchie was employed by L.C. Cardiff Lumber Mill until 1958. At this time he began to work as a millwright on various missile sites which eventually took them to Colorado, where they were joined by their youngest daughter, Linda and her family. While employed at Coors Brewery as a millwright they purchased and operated the A Bar D motel in Denver until they retired to the San Juan Islands of Washington in 1980 with their daughter Janice and her family. In 1990 they relocated to Clarkston, WA to be with family until they moved to Spokane in 2001 to be near their youngest granddaughter Lisa.

Poppy's interests were reading, chess, woodworking, cross words, cards and following the progress and achievements of his grand and great grand children. He was dearly loved and highly esteemed by his family and friends.

Ritchie was preceded in death by his wife of 72 years, Dorothy (Sammy), his parents (Sherman and Lula), brothers (Merrill and Sherman) and eldest grandson, Kevin Merek. He is survived by his sister, Mona Merry (Art) Thompson of AZ; daughters Janice Merry (Don) Wilkins of Nine Mile Falls, Linda Merry Porter of Lewiston; grandchildren Julie Wilkins (Bill) Nichols, Tess Wilkins (Bruce Nisbet), Lisa Wilkins (Daren) Kelly, Lenni Sue May and Rick Kelly; 10 great- grandchildren and three great-great-grands with one on the way.

Poppy, you are loved......Hasta luego and save your money!

A memorial service to celebrate the lives of both Dorothy and Ritchie Merry, will be held Saturday at 2:00, June 25, 2011 at the Mountain View Funeral Home, 7th and Cedar, Lewiston, ID. A reception and refreshments to follow the ceremony. In Lieu of flowers, please make donations to Horizon Hospice of Spokane, WA.

Published in Spokesman-Review from June 5 to June 6, 2011
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