Longtime Wilbraham resident Marian (Anderson) Merrill, 87, died peacefully on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, at home with her family. She was born in Springfield to the late Godfred and Ella (Bradley) Anderson. Marian was a member of Grace Union Church in Wilbraham since 1987.
Marian graduated from Classical High School in 1951 and maintained lifelong friendships. In her youth, Marian was a Girl Scout and active member of Emmanuel Congregational church. She enjoyed learning and continued her education with adult classes at STCC. Marian appeared as a “Breck Girl” washing her hair during live commercials on local television as one of her first paying jobs. For many years she assisted her husband with his contracting business and also worked as a tax preparer.
Marian and Bob enjoyed car rides throughout New England, trying different restaurants along the way. A typical outing was to view the wildlife at the Quabbin Reservoir. Marian especially loved hosting family and friends at home serving many delicious entrees and desserts.
Marian actively supported her children in many activities including Boy Scouts as a Den Mother and sporting events where she even laced-up skates to play hockey! “Mrs. Merrill” was known to the neighborhood gang for her homemade brownies. She was also very creative, enjoying calligraphy, painting, sewing, and crocheting. Marian was proud of her ability to teach swimming and continued that talent with her children and grandchildren. She was an adventurer, always willing to give something new a try; or encourage you to do so!
Marian loved all animals caring for her dogs and cats along with birds, hermit crabs, tropical fish, and even George, the crocodile who resided in the home. Marian was known for her green thumb and enjoyed tending the house plants and gardens. She delighted in watching birds and other wildlife pass through the yard.
Marian is survived by her beloved husband of 66 years, Robert L. Merrill, their two sons; Robert E. Merrill of Wilbraham and William D. Merrill and his wife Karen of Plattsburgh, NY, brother Fred E. Anderson and his wife Lynne of Windsor, CT and two cherished grandchildren; Russell Merrill (Megan) of Plattsburgh, NY and Laura Merrill of Albuquerque, NM. She is also survived by her sister-in-law Elizabeth Landry and many dearly loved nieces and nephews. Marian was predeceased by her sister Shirley Graham.
The family appreciates the caregivers who treated her with kindness and respect later in life. Thank you especially to Matt, Gisele, Stacy and Stella.
A Memorial Service to celebrate Marian’s life will be held on Saturday, May 1, 2021. Wilbraham Funeral Home, 2551 Boston Rd., Wilbraham is in charge of the arrangements. The funeral and burial are private. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Grace Union Church, 10 Chapel Street, Wilbraham, MA 01095 or the Dakin Humane Society, 171 Union Street, Springfield, MA 01105.