Mary Lou Merrill

Mary Lou Merrill

11/5/1930 — 8/25/2021

  • Service Date: 9/4/2021

Mary Lou Merrill passed away Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021, at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Lewiston. She was 90.

Mary Lou was born Nov. 5, 1930, in Albion to Harold and Maude Johnston. She graduated from Colfax High School in 1949, she and Jim Merrill were married later that same year, Oct. 29 in Colfax, and the couple moved to Pullman.

In the early 1960s, Mary Lou and Jim moved to Lewiston to buy a home and raise their family. Mary Lou and Jim enjoyed many kids’ baseball games, football games, basketball games, track meets and parades. They were the parents, grandparents and great-grandparents that showed up for it all.

In the early 1980s, Jim’s career took them on the road. The couple lived in Wrangell, Alaska, Winnemucca, Nev., and the Seattle area. After their retirement they returned to Lewiston, where she has lived for the past 32 years. Mary Lou enjoyed getting to travel and move after the kids were raised. She spoke fondly about the friends they made along the way and the great experiences they had together. They enjoyed many Mariners games, theatre shows, concerts and vacations. Two of her favorite concerts were Willie Nelson and Neil Diamond; Mary Lou had wide range of taste in music.

A lifelong homemaker, she worked for a brief time as a cook for the Lewiston School District. After her husband died in 2016, she adopted Tucker, who was a loyal and loving four-legged companion to her.

Mary Lou formed true friendships with the ladies at her beauty salon where she made weekly visits over the course of 15 years. She enjoyed spending time in the mountains and the Oregon Coast was one of her favorite places to visit. She loved spending time with her family, be it at a sporting event, a graduation, a wedding, holiday celebrations or the weekly Saturday lunches with her granddaughter, Kim. She was planning to take a trip with family to the Cannon Beach in October of 2021, we will surely find extra sand dollars on the beach with her as our guardian angel now.

Her hobbies included baking; pies and caramel corn were her specialties; she loved her vegetable garden, cultivating beautiful roses, reading and going to movies. Mary Lou loved to reminisce about her childhood and growing up along the river in Penewawa. She always said she felt she had a great childhood and was thankful to be born in the ’30s. We would all get a chuckle when she told stories about midnight swims in the Snake River and “borrowed” watermelons. She grew up in the country and appreciated a simple life. Mary Lou loved her family deeply and was intentional about making memories; we will miss her and cherish the memories forever.

Mary Lou is survived by children Mike Merrill of Kennewick, Patty (Bob) McMillen of Lewiston, Doug (Vicki) Merrill of Federal Way, Kathy Merrill of Federal Way, her brother Herold (Loretta) of Lewiston, and her son-in-law Ray (Lynn) McElroy of Benton City.

She is also survived by grandchildren Karin, Kim, Joann, Cheri, Mindy, Jim, Tammy, Chad, Megan and Joseph; 25 great-grandchildren, six great-great-grandchildren, and her best friend Tucker.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Jim, her daughter, Sandra, her granddaughter, Melissa, her brother, Don, and her sister, Dorthy.

The family will hold a private burial, and a public celebration of life will be held on the afternoon of Saturday, Sept. 4, for details related to the celebration of life please contact Kim at: (208) 305-1741 or

In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to Helping Hands Rescue, PO Box 1975, Lewiston ID 83501 or Family Promise, 921 Ninth Ave., Lewiston ID 83501.

Service Information

Date & Time
Saturday, September 4, 12:00 AM
Additional Details
The family will hold a private burial, and a public celebration of life will be held on the afternoon of Saturday, Sept. 4, for details related to the celebration of life please contact Kim at: (208) 305-1741 or


Shannan Eid

It was very sad news to learn of Jack's passing. But it was so interesting to read about his life. He did so many things. Jack was one of the nicest members of the LHS Class of 1961. My very best to each of Jack's family. And RIP, dear Jack. Sending love and hugs. ❤

Tuesday, August 31, 2021 9:24 PM

Keith and Mary Lawrence

We are sad to learn that Mary Lou passed away last week. She and Jim lived next door to us in the 1990s when our kids were young. We have fond memories of talking with them over the side fence. Mary Lou will be dearly missed. We will make a donation to Helping Hands in her honor.

Sunday, August 29, 2021 2:24 PM

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920 21st Avenue
Lewiston, Idaho 83501
(208) 743-6541 or 800-584-8812