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Merrill, Alice
Alice Merrill, 86, passed away Monday, December 27, 2010 in Galesburg, Illinois. She was born in Dorchester, Nebraska, on November 6, 1924. When she was 17, she moved to California to live with her older sister. California then became her home and she lived there for the next 66 years. She married Harold True, became stepmother to his son, and had 2 children before he passed away in 1953.

Later, she met Orel Merrill at a church dance and they were married on February 6, 1956. Over the years they had 4 more children. They raised their family mostly in Camarillo, California, moving there in 1964. Their home on Landen St. was the hub of family activities until she moved to Illinois in 2009. Many happy times were made sitting around the table at Mom and Dads.

Alice was feisty, full of energy, and was always on the go. Even when she was in the midst of health challenges, she continued to live her life to the fullest. She loved traveling and visited Hawaii, Europe, Egypt, the Holy Land, and Australia. She was a dedicated member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints where she served in many capacities over the years. She loved the Lord and her faith was very important to her.

She loved camping in Sequoia National Park with her children and grandchildren. She began this tradition in 1953 and it became a much loved, yearly tradition for her family. In 2003, she was honored by the Sequoia Natural History Association "for 50 years of teaching a love of nature to her family and friends."

Alice lived a life focused on children. She taught 4th grade for many years at Camarillo Heights Elementary School in Camarillo, and was the nursery teacher at church for many years. She was a dedicated teacher and was loved by all of the children she taught.

To Alice, family was the most important thing in life. She loved her children more than anything, and was always there for them in every possible way. Her grandchildren were the light of her life. She spent many hours playing with them, reading to them, and creating fun times for them. Grandma's house was the place to be. Even in her last days her main worry was that her family would be ok.

She had many friends and will be missed by all who knew her. She was preceded in death by her brother Jim, her sister Betty, granddaughter Kristin, and her husband Orel.

She is survived by her children, Harold True (Cheryl), Art Merrill, Janice Pratt (Don), Matthew Merrill (Lisa), Lori Kaio, Joe Merrill (Annette), David Merrill (Julie). Art lived with her and dedicated his time to caring for her. Annette was also especially supportive during her last year in Illinois. She was very grateful for them. She will be dearly missed by her 17 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren.

Services will be held on Tuesday, January 4, 2011, Viewing 10:00am, Funeral 11:00am. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 4345 Las Posas Rd., Camarillo, CA. Watson Funeral Home, Galesburg, is in charge of local arrangements.
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