William Warren “Bill” Merryman, 93, passed away peacefully on June 8th, 2019 in his home in Lander, Wyoming, surrounded by dozens of his beloved family.
Bill was born on January 24th, 1926 to Earl Roscoe Merryman and Lillian Gayle (Moreland) Merryman in Mingo Junction of Jefferson County, Ohio.
After his childhood in Mingo Junction, Bill enlisted in the United States Navy, serving out of San Francisco from October 1943 until his honorable discharge in May 1946. Upon the completion of his service to our country, Bill returned to Mingo Junction to complete high school. After graduating and completing a year of trade school, Bill decided to pursue his dream of wide open spaces.
It was this pursuit that led him to hitchhike his way out west where a snow storm paused his journey in Provo, Utah in 1948. This is where he met Paula Mae Lotz and the two were married two years later in 1950. The couple remained in Provo, raising their four children while working as a brick layer and book keeper for Geneva Steel.
The Merryman’s next adventure led them to Lander, Wyoming when Bill began work with U.S. Steel at the Atlantic City Iron Ore Mine in 1962 and they have called Lander home ever since.
Bill was always active and volunteered his time where ever he could, especially when it came to being outdoors. He loved working with the Boy Scouts and was involved in several caving expeditions, as well as a three week camping and hiking trip set up by Paul Petzoldt and NOLS. Bill also loved working with the Masons and Shriners, serving the community for decades.
Whether it was working with these groups or simply helping another member of the community, Bill was always there to lend a hand. Bill’s community involvement extended to being a proud member of Wyoming Lodge #2 AF&AM, Scottish Rite, Shrine Club and the Lander Elk’s BPOE Lodge 2317.
Bill’s constant presence in the Lander community was also seen through two of his favorite pastimes. He always loved being a part of the Lander Pioneers Parade, where Bill spent many years walking alongside his fellow Shriners and the Shriner train. Then, in 2018, Bill and Paula were chosen to be Grand Marshalls of the Annual 4th of July parade.
His other pastime was his love of decorating his house and yard with lights and inflatable decorations. Whether it was a holiday, special event, or just family coming into town, Bill loved to put on a display for the community, especially the children.
Another perfect example of Bill’s kind and giving heart came in 2001 when he purchased a raffle ticket at NOLS 35th Anniversary Banquet, in which he won a guided hike to summit The Grand Teton. True to his nature and love of family, a single summit wasn’t enough for Bill, and he invited his grandchildren to hike with him. At 75 years old, Bill led two of his children and eight of his grandchildren up to High Camp in the Upper Saddle, then supported his eight grandchildren as they finished the trek to the summit before meeting back with “Grandpa” and the welcoming party of many supporting family members. It was an experience that the entire family will never forget.
Bill was a staple of the Lander community and a truly amazing man. He loved his family and cherished them beyond words. The children in the family were always drawn to Bill and he could frequently be found playing with his grand/great grandchildren in the front or back yard. His laugh and smile were infectious, charming and could win over others with ease.
His sense of humor frequently sent ripples of laughter through family and friends. He had a caring and generous heart and would do anything he could for family, friends and strangers alike. Everyone was always welcome with Bill. He never met a stranger. His loving, caring, warm soul will be missed, but will live on in the hearts of his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents and his four brothers; Earl Jr. (Junior) Merryman, Curtis (Curtie) Merryman, Glen Merryman and David (Freddy) Merryman.
Bill is survived by his wife of 69 years, Paula Mae (Lotz) Merryman, as well as their four children; Gayle Adams (Randy), Penny Briggs (Robert), Linda Hulme (Brad) and Randy Merryman; 10 grandchildren and 24 great grandchildren.
A Memorial Service will be held at 10:00am, Thursday, June 13th, 2019 at Lander First United Methodist Church, 262 N 3rd St. Lander, WY, With Masonic Rites.
Graveside services will follow in Mount Hope Cemetery, Lander, Wyoming with military honors to be provided by the local American Legend and VFW.
Donations in Bill’s memory may be made to either the Shriners Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah or Frontier Home Health and Hospice.
Please visit www.HudsonsFuneralHome.com to leave a message for the family.
Hudson’s Funeral Home and On-site Crematory, Lander, WY.