Stuart Perry Merrill
January 1923 – August 1, 2017
Stuart, “Stu” passed away peacefully in his sleep on August 1st 2017 at his home Woodfords California.
Stuart was born to Grant Perry Merrill and Angie Tibbetts Merrill in Gardnerville NV in January 1923. He was raised in Woodfords CA, the third generation of the pioneer Merrill family to make their home in Woodfords. Stuart spent his later grade school & high school years in Mojave CA after his father was transferred there to serve as the state highway superintendent. However, Stuart always returned to Alpine County during the summers and school vacations.
After high school Stuart attended Sacramento Junior College dividing his time between studies, ski racing and ski instructing at Sugar Bowl.
College was interrupted when Stuart served in the Air Force in the European theater during WW II.
After the war he enrolled at San Jose State, pledged Delta Sigma fraternity, continued his intercollegiate ski racing and importantly met Eileen who he declared to be “The Girl he would marry”. Stuart & Eileen wed nine months later September 11, 1948, (69 years ago!).
The couple lived in San Jose until Stuart completed his studies. After graduation Stuart & Eileen moved to Woodfords where they assumed management of the family’s Woodfords Store & Resort. In 1958 Stuart ran for and was elected Sheriff of Alpine County and served 5 terms as Sheriff until his retirement in 1978. Stuart continued his public service for several years serving as an Alpine County supervisor.
In retirement Stuart rekindled his passion for ski racing (senior division) he joined Eileen golfing regularly and especially for travel and reunion adventures with their close friends. From the earliest of ages he had been a stealth fisherman (he always kept his fly rod in the trunk of the car), knowing every fishing hole in the Eastern Sierra but never divulged his favorites. In later years he would teach his 3 grandchildren to fish, how to drive the golf cart and use the stick shift in the old truck among other grand parenting duties.
Stuart was a people person known for his sociability, admired for his compassion, generosity and willingness to help others. He touched the souls of many and will be cherished in our memories. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, California Peace Officers Association, Carson Valley Freemasons, Sirs and the Alpine County Historic Society.
Stuart was preceded in death by his brothers Austin & Robert Merrill.
Stuart is survived by his wife Eileen; children, Eric (Michele) & Cathy; grandchildren, Grant, Ian & Hanna; nephews & nieces; Greg Merrill, Linda Merrill, Sandra Merrill, Warren Merrill, Barbara Merrill Moore and their children.
The memorial service will be held on Sunday, August 27th, at 11:00 AM, Turtle Rock Park Community Center, 17300 SR 89/4, Markleeville, CA 96120.
The family appreciates your love, support and sympathy gifts. Memorial contributions may be made in his name to the Alpine County Historic Society.
Burial will be a private family observance.