The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


April 4, 2014

Brian D. Merrill

JOPLIN, Mo. — Brian D. Merrill, age 47, of Joplin, Mo., was called home to his heavenly father April 1, 2014. In the last few days of his life, Brian was surrounded by family and loved ones.

Born April 1, 1967, to Richard Merrill and Sue Porter on Richard Gebaur Airforce Base, Brian was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He grew up in Fort Dodge and graduated from Fort Dodge High School in 1985.

Brian was married to Nancy Hanson from 1988 to 2007, and had one son, Nicholas. Brian married Julie Davitt in 2011. They recently celebrated their third anniversary.

Brian loved working with his Downstream Casino family. He was always a bright light in everyone's life sharing crazy stories and jokes. His goal in life was to be there for others and create smiles daily. He loved traveling, camping and surrounding himself with his family and friends. He lifted the spirits of everyone around him with his smile and amazing, infectious humor.

Brian is survived by his wife, Julie, of Joplin; parents, Richard and Maureen Merrill and Sue and Rod Porter; his children, Nicholas Merrill, Alex Davitt (Neda) and Stephanie Evans (Chris); brothers, Mike, Matt, Mark and Lee; Grandma and Grandpa Merrill; and three grandchildren. Brian is preceded in death by his brother, Steven; Grandma Miller; and Grandpa Larson.

A memorial service will be held at Ignite Church, located on 7th and Maiden Lane, Joplin, on Saturday, April 5, at 1 p.m. Please join us in celebration of Brian's life. Any attire is welcome, including men wearing a crazy tie in Brian's honor.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations in honor of Brian to Seneca Black Elk Mathews Foundation Scholarship Fund. Mail checks to: OSU Foundation, 400 South Monroe, Stillwater, OK 74074. Memo line: Seneca Black Elk Mathews Foundation.

As Brian always said, "Give 'em the pickle."

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