On returning from the war, he met his eternal companion, Alice Bouvang, from Gunnison, Utah. They were sealed in the Manti Temple on February 10, 1947. They were blessed with five children, Marilyn Robinson (Paul), Janet McDaniel (Kirk), Lee Peterson (Ellen), Ivan Peterson (Jill) and Barbara Peterson Bassett. He is survived by his wife Alice, his sister Shirley Curtis, five children, 21 grandchildren, and 27 great-grandchildren.
In November 1957, Merrill became the manager of Christensen’s Department Store in Cedar City, Utah. His family, the store, church service, and community service became the focus of his life. He was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints where he served in many church callings including ward clerk, Elders Quorum President, the High Council, and High Priest group leader. Other achievements include activity in the Cedar City Lions Club, Cedar City Chamber of Commerce, the Southwest Livestock Show, and a member of the Sons of the Utah Pioneers. He and his wife Alice served in the St. George Temple as temple workers for nine years. They also had the opportunity to serve an LDS Mission in the Ohio Cleveland mission.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, July 7, 2012 at 12:00 p.m. at the Cedar City 9th Ward Chapel, 256 S. 900 W. There will be a viewing Friday, July 6, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at the Southern Utah Mortuary, 190 N. 300 W. in Cedar City, Utah. There will also be a viewing prior to the funeral service from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the church. Interment will be in the Cedar City Cemetery under the direction of Southern Utah Mortuary, 190 North 300 West, Cedar City, Utah - (435) 586-4040.
The family would like to express their deepest gratitude to Iron County Home Health, Kolob Regional Care, the staff at Emerald Point Assisted Living, and IHC Hospice for their compassion and service given to Merrill during the last few years of his life.