Ross Merrill Perry, 85, of St. George, Utah left his beloved family September 29, 2018. He was the son of Ross Leo and Leo Grace (Doering) Perry, and was a devoted and loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. Merrill is survived by his wife, Peggy, two sons Greg (Patricia), Doug (Tracie), and two daughters, Sherrill (Don) Gray, Brenda (Rick) Potter, and a sister Deanna Weatherspoon. He also left 17 grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren.
Merrill met the love of his life, Peggy Marie Blakley in La Grande, OR. Their courtship was cut short as he was drafted into the Army during the Korean War. The two married August 8, 1953 in Monterrey, California, one week before he reported to boot camp at Fort Ord. After two years of service in Korea, Merrill returned and completed a bachelor’s degree at Eastern Oregon College. He would later obtain the equivalent of a Master’s Degree from the University of Oregon.
Merrill was a high school teacher, coach, and athletic director at Oakridge and Creswell High Schools (CHS). He touched the lives of thousands of students teaching biology, geology, science, and math. A driving factor for a teaching career was a desire to coach high school sports, which he did for more than two decades. Merrill loved coaching baseball and football, but also assisted in other sports and then served as athletic director for 20 years at CHS.
But Merrill was also a spiritual man and devoted his life to serving and helping countless individuals through two five-year stints as a congregational leader (Bishop) for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He also ministered to the needs of others by assignment or out of pure love in countless other ways. He quietly and humbly exemplified the life of Christ, followed in his footsteps, and spread his teachings.
He was an avid reader, master gardener, and wasn’t afraid of household carpentry. He enjoyed traveling, crisscrossing the nation by car multiple times, and more extensive international trips in later years. Merrill loved his family and had a wonderful sense of humor, telling and retelling stories with enthusiasm and an infectious laugh. And, he had a passion for family history research, writing thousands of pages of biographical sketches of ancestors – something his family will forever treasure.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, October 6, 11:00 am at the LDS Snow Canyon Stake Building located at 1184 N. Dixie Downs Road, St. George, UT. A viewing will be at 10:00 am.
A graveside service will be held Monday, October 8, 2018 at 11:00am at the Summerville Cemetery in Summerville, Oregon.
In lieu of flowers please make contributions to the Merrill and Peggy Perry Memorial Scholarship Fund at CHS in Creswell, Oregon on online at: https://www.gofundme.com/chs-perry-memorial-scholarship-fund