Alan Wesley Merrill

Published 3:03 pm Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Allen WesleyMerrill of Tryon passed away peacefully with his family at his side at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, N.C. Alan battled brain cancer for almost a year the way he lived his life, with determination, grace and dignity.

Alan was born in Hanover, N.H., son of the late Glenn Wesley Merrill and the late Lena Bradley Merrill, both natives of Norwich, Vt., where they raised their family.

Alan graduated from Hanover High School in 1954 and from Cornell University in 1960 with a degree in agricultural economics. He was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity and served in the Army from 1956 to 1958 at Ft. Benning, Georgia. During the summers between high school and college, he developed his love for agricultural and animals working on the farm of Albert and Louise Johnson in Norwich.

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Alan was hired by Oscar Mayer and Company after graduating from Cornell and spent his entire 36-year career with the company, retiring as corporate fresh meats sales manager and director of sales for Canada.

Along with horses, Alans passions were golfing and skiing. Alan competed in the 55 km American Birkebinder cross-country ski race in Cable, Wisconsin, earning the coveted completion medal in 15 straight years. &bsp;

After retiring, he and wife Lois raised Norwegian Fjord horses on their farm in Dodgeville, Wisc., and Alan served as president of the Norwegian Fjord Horse Association of North America.&bsp; &bsp;

Alan and Lois moved to Tryon in 2004, where Alan served as the Oak Hall Condominium Association president and was a board member of the Foothills Humane Society, where he loved being the groundskeeper.

Alan is survived by his wife Lois Merrill of Tryon; Alans two sons Pete Merrill and wife Kim of Charlotte, N.C., and Philip Merrill and wife Emily of Amesbury, Ma., and their mother Mary Merrill of Madison, Wisc.; Alans brother Bruce Merrill and wife Robin of Cleveland, Ga.; Alans sister Barbara J. Merrill of Norwich, Vt.; Alans two step-daughters, Lynn Hall of Oak Park, Il., and Wendy Brown and husband Tony of Crested Butte, Colo.; Alans four grandchildren, Sam and Rory of Charlotte, N.C., and Carolina and Nathaniel of Amesbury, Ma.; Alan is also survived by several nieces, nephews and step grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at the Congregational Church in Tryon at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, March 17. &bsp;

In Alans memory, a fund has been established at Foothills Humane Society for the completion of a new shelter building. P.O. Box 126, Tryon, N.C. 28782.