Neal A. Merrill, 82, of Donnybrook and Bullhead City, Ariz., passed away peacefully Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012, at the Benedictine Living Center in Garrison, following a long battle with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
Neal Angus Merrill was born March 4, 1929, at Coulee, to C.E. and Hazel (Jones) Merrill. He attended elementary school in Coulee and graduated from Donnybrook High School in 1947. Following graduation he attended Minot State College.
Neal married Marjorie Wilson on March 20, 1948, at Sidney, Mont. He worked for the North Dakota Highway Department for a time. Neal and Marjorie had five children, Rhett, DaNeal, Lisa, Scott and Kent. Their family lived throughout the Upper Midwest. They lived first in Bismarck for 2 1/2 years, then Aberdeen, S.D., for 16 years, Miles City, Mont., for four years, then in the Fargo-Moorhead, Minn., area for four years and 27 years in Bullhead City, Ariz., where he retired as vice president of McCormick Construction Co. in 1995. Neal's wife of 42 years, Marjorie, passed away on June 18, 1990.
He married Jeannie Mickelson Colton on April 3, 1993, in Bullhead City. Following his retirement in 1995, they spent their summers in Donnybrook and winters in Bullhead City. Neal enjoyed working in his yard in Donnybrook, and mowing with his riding mower. He attended many auction sales and for many years enjoyed collecting antiques. He also enjoyed riding the four-wheeler in the coulees near Donnybrook. He always looked forward to a "Lodge" meeting, and trying all the good food potluck-style and just enjoying the company of dear friends.
Neal was a member of United Methodist Church in Donnybrook. In his younger days he enjoyed riding and raising horses. For many years he enjoyed keeping up with his family's genealogy and also enjoyed working with his model railroad that had 225 feet of track, which he designed and had set up in his garage. He loved basketball and enjoyed watching the Phoenix Suns. You could always find one of his cats, especially Silky, or Snoopy, on his lap.
Those who shared in Neal's life: Loving wife, Jeannie, Donnybrook; children, Rhett Merrill and his partner Larry Mathias, Minneapolis; DaNeal (Steve) Becker, Glendale, Ariz.; Lisa (Greg) Kehl, Bedford, Texas; Scott Merrill and his friend, Stephanie Moore, Bullhead City; and Kent (Nance) Merrill, Missoula, Mont.; stepdaughters, Melanie (Tim) Dunlap, Las Vegas, and Kristy (Jeremy) Wurgler, Fargo; grandchildren, Brandon (Alissa) Becker, Brock (Meghan) Becker, Nicole (Thomas) DuPont, Sara Merrill, Mark Mintonye, James Kehl, Forrest Merrill and Corey Merrill; stepgrandchildren, Tory Jean and Brett Lambert; six great-grandchildren; sister, Jeannette Feldner, Minot; sisters-in-law, Helen Graff, Minot, Ethel Schuschke, Havre, Mont., and Betty Hanson, Farmington, N.M.; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Neal was preceded in death by his wife Marjorie; his parents; brother, Lewis Merrill; and sisters, Vesta Voak and Ellen Marie Woods.
Funeral: Friday, Jan. 13, 2011, at 10:30 a.m., in United Methodist Church, Donnybrook.
Burial: Aurelia Cemetery, rural Donnybrook.
Visitation: Today, Jan. 12, from 4 to 7 p.m., at Thompson-Larson Funeral Home, Minot.
Those wishing to sign the online guest register or share memories of Neal may access the online obituaries at (www.thompsonlarson.com).