Robert D. Merrill, 55, died at home incident to pancreatic cancer on April 7, 1995.
Bob was born May 12, 1939 in Logan, Utah to Beena Peterson Merrill and Wendell William Merrill, D.D.S. A member of the Church of Jesus Crhist of Latter-day Saints. He married Alice J. Lundahl March 17, 1960 in the Logan Temple.Bob attended Utah State University, where he received his Bachelor of Science in 1961 and a commission as an officer in the United States Army. Bob affiliated with Sigma Chi Fraternity at Utah State. Upon graduating from Utah State, Bob attended the University of Utah College of Law, where he served on the Board of Editors of the Utah Law Review, graduating in 1964 receiving a Juris Doctor Degree. Upon admission to the Utah State Bar the same year, Bob began his legal career as an attorney in the United States Army Judge Advocate General Corps, serving honorably from 1964 to 1969 and attaining the rank of Major. Bob was a member of the Utah State Bar, the American Bar Association and admitted to practice before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.
In 1969 Bob joined the Salt Lake City law firm of Van Cott, Bagley, Cornwall & McCarthy, where he was a shareholder and practiced for 25 years. Bob also served as a Law Firm Director, Vice President, and chaired the Firm's Financial Services Department. Bob was a versatile and talented attorney specializing in bankruptcy, commercial finance and real estate law, frequently participating as a speaker on local and national panels and seminars in these areas of expertise. Not only an effective advocate, Bob was a scholar and mentor, publishing extensively. Bob's reputation among lawyers and judges earned him national recognition being listed in the popular publication "America's Best Lawyers."
Public service was a special goal for Bob who was active in his community, serving as a member of the Board of Executive Committee of the Better Business Bureau of Greater Salt Lake, 1975 to present; the Board of Directors of Utah Legal services, 1986 to present (President 1988-1991); the Utah State Board of Mandatory Continuing Legal Education, where he was the inaugural chair, 1989 to present (President 1990-1991); and as a current Trustee of the Utah Bankruptcy Lawyers Forum.
In May, 1980 Governor Scott Matheson appointed Bob Chairman of the Governor's Commission on Law and Citizenship. This Commission teaches young people about the importance of law, and promotes a more active, concerned and knowledgeable citizenry. Bob also served the Utah State Bar Committee on Law Related Education. This year Governor Michael Leavitt advised Bob of his intention to appoint him to serve on the Institutional Counsel of Utah State University, an appointment Bob could not accept because of his illness.
Bob personified the concepts of justice, integrity and charity. He was known for his strength of character, precise legal mind, gifted sense of humor and razor-sharp wit. He touched many lives both directly and indirectly and will be remembered and missed by those priviledged to know him. Shortly before his death, Bob assisted in the establishment of the Robert D. Merrill Distinguished Service Endowment Fund at the University of Utah College of Law to provide a perpetual fund for scholarships and similar assistance to students and faculty, with emphasis upon legal services to the poor and to enhance bankruptcy practice skills and programs.
Survived by his wife, Alice L. Merrill; sons, Robert S. (Cheryl Leigh) Merrill of Colorado Springs, Colorado; Brad W. (Patricia) Merrill and Michael D. Merrill both of Salt Lake City; grandchildren, Raliegh, Charlett and Nate. Also survived by his mother, Beena P. Merrill Gabrielsen, Logan, Utah; brothers, William W. Merrill, Santa Anna, California; Peter (Ardella) Merrill, Logan, Utah; John (Bev) Merrill, Prescott, Arizona and Les Merrill, Yorba Linda, California. Bob was also blessed with many wonderful and caring friends and relatives. Preceded in death by his father Wendell and sister, Ollie Jean Merrill.
Funeral services will be Tuesday, April 11, 1995 in the Monument Park Stake Center, 1320 South Wasatch Drive at 12:00 noon. Viewing will be Monday evening April 10th from 6-8 p.m. at Larkin Sunset Lawn Mortuary, 2350 East 1300 South and one hour prior on Tuesday at the ward. Interment, Larkin Sunset Lawn Cemetery.
"life must go on
though good men die.
life must go on.
I forget just why."
- Edna St. Vincent Milay -
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