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Merwyn ‘Jim’ Paul Merrick Jr.

July 1, 2014

Merwyn ‘Jim’ Paul Merrick Jr.
1925-2014

Merwyn “Jim” Paul Merrick Jr. passed away Thursday, June 12 in his home of 58 years. It was just eight days after his 89th birthday.
He was an only child born June 4, 1925 in Los Angeles, at the Good Samaritan Hospital to Merywn Sr. and Margaret “Fern” Merrick.
He graduated from Hoover High School in Glendale in 1943 and entered the Air Force Cadet program. He trained in several states, enduring extreme conditions. Even though a childhood illness damaged his hearing, on Jan. 4, 1945 he became a Second Lieutenant in the Army Air Force. “It was a wonderful feeling to make it through 17 months of training and have those wings on my chest.”
He was a World War II veteran; he navigated B-24 Liberators. His hearing loss increased as years went by, yet it never impaired his sharp mind. He went to the University of Southern California on the G.I. Bill and graduated in June 1949 with a degree in Industrial Engineering. He began graduate work for an MBA but plans changed when General Motors offered him a job. Soon thereafter, he moved to Bishop in 1951 to go into the accounting business with his father although with “transmission fluid in his arteries and brake fluid in his veins,” he preferred working with cars. Eventually he decided to be his own boss and owned the Bishop Laundry, along with business partners, for many years.
Initially, he didn’t agree to the blind date his Aunt Jean tried to set him up on for New Year’s Eve but she insisted. Ironically, that blind date at the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, 1952, turned out to be his wife of 55 years, Elizabeth Ann Boyle. On Aug. 14, 1954, they were wed in Reno, Nev. at St. Johns Presbyterian Church. They resided in Bishop for the rest of their lifetimes. She preceded him in death in 2007.
They are survived by their three daughters, Mary Ann Watkins, Dedra Tyerman, Suzanne Edmonds and her husband Rick. The grandchildren will remember him fondly, Angie Peluso, Jessica and Josh Tyerman, Julia and Ian Watkins and Matthew Edmonds. His first great-grandchild, Maxon, was just born the day after his last birthday, June 5, 2014.
Throughout his life, he lived all over California as well as in Michigan, Colorado, Texas and Kansas. He was a quintessential member of the Greatest Generation – fun-loving while working hard towards success. He was a passionate man, adoring classic old cars and avidly following sports (USC Trojans, L.A. Kings, L.A. Angels). He was an information gatherer. He could tell you the temperature in Texas last Tuesday, recall details of a pivotal moment in a football game 50 years ago, and explain the difference between a 1934 Ford built in the spring versus one built in the winter.
Like many of the Greatest Generation, his true character and inner strength developed through extraordinary experiences, good and bad. He touched many people with his interesting life stories and reflective vivid memories.
“The man tells his stories so many times that he becomes the stories. They live on after. And in that way, he becomes immortal.”
– Big Fish
He lived a full life and was still full of life when he passed. He had recently renewed his driver’s license and lived independently at his house in Rocking K, where his children and grandchildren grew up. In the end, he went as he wished – quietly at home.
He surpassed both of his parents in age, although they also made it into their eighties. Both of his parents and his wife are buried in Bishop and he will now join them.
The funeral service will be held at 9 a.m. Thursday, July 3 at the East Line Cemetery. All are welcome to attend. FIGHT ON!

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