John Merrell Memorial

Created in 2010 to celebrate the life of John Merrell & raise funds to find a cure for Alzheimer's disease.  

6th Annual John Merrell Memorial


October 17, 2015

Ohio State vs Penn State



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Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Chocolate chip cookies. Anything chocolate. Pipe tobacco. Slight road rage. The red truck. Mowing. Max the dog.  Coke in a can. Orange hat. Gloves, year round. Bike rides to the park.  Shuffling cards at 5:30 in the morning, playing solitaire, driving to away soccer games with our "lunch" (snickers and Dr. Pepper), going "camping" (in the driveway), Indian's games in the bleachers with fresh peanuts from Danny Boys, scraping sound of a fork or spoon against a bowl or plate having to get every last piece of chocolate.


A partial list of what we'll remember about Papa. As his granddaughter, I was blessed (we all were) to spend a lot of time with the man who became Pa. Jan, Mike, and Jay were blessed with a father who taught them about hard work and family means everything.



Who John Was

Papa fought a long battle with Alzheimer's disease, but I don't think he'd want to be remembered like that.  I think he'd want to be remembered as:


  • The grandpa who played dolls and ate chocolate chip cookies with milk before bed.
  • The grandpa who read Big Dog, Little Dog and taught you chicken soup is best with lots of club crackers
  • The papa who made you a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich everyday and only grumbled a little when you asked for another.
  • The pa who taught you playing ball in the house was not the worst thing ever (much to everyone's surprise) and that chocolate pie should end every meal.
  • The dad that saved you from a scary, beheaded snake by throwing it in the lake. The dad that attended soccer games, only to be red carded and ejected. The dad that taught you beer hidden in the bushes became his.  The dad you eventually shared a cigarette with on the front porch, without saying much. The dad who always asked if work was busy.


What we Learned

He was a man of few words, but his actions spoke for themselves.  He was always helpful and hardworking-with his tongue stuck slightly out, especially when he was concentrating. 


Towards the end we saw a new Papa: a playful, often goofy and affectionate side we never knew.  I can't help but think that's what he wanted us to remember.


That, and of course, corns good, potatoes hot, and an extra piece of chocolate never hurt anyone.



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