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PHIL MERRILL, beloved husband of Kaye Merrill of Raymond, passed away at home on Monday, July 10, 2023, at the age of 72 years.
Phil is the loving father to Kash (Karen) Merrill of Tri- Cities, Washington, Neysa (Jared) Pierson of Lethbridge, Alberta, Sonya (Chris) Howes of Lethbridge, Alberta, Cheyenne (Mark) Smith of Spring Coulee, Alberta, Chyna Rose (Blake) Ausmus of Calgary, Alberta, Kolt (Amy) Merrill of Drumheller, Alberta, Jack (Ruth) Merrill of Raymond, Alberta, Benjamin (Sunder) Merrill of Raymond, Alberta; and the beloved grandfather of 21 grandchildren.
He is also survived by his wife Kaye, mother, Dorothy Jean Merrill of Cardston, Alberta, his sister in law Gwen Merrill of Hillspring, Alberta, his brother Rod (Barbara) of Guelph, Ontario, his brother Kent (Tara) of Raymond, Alberta, his sister in law Carolyn (Larry) Leavitt of Leavitt, Alberta, and his sister Karen (Rick) Gordon of Baja, Mexico.
Phil was predeceased by his father Donald Elmer Merrill, his brother James Merrill, his brother Wayne Merrill, and his nephew, Miles Merrill.
Phil was born on June 20, 1951 in Cardston, Alberta to Donald Elmer Merrill and Dorothy Jean Merrill. He had one older brother Wayne, three younger brothers Rod, Kent, and James and one younger sister Karen. He often talked about his idyllic childhood growing up on the family farm known as Belly Acres located on the Belly River. He played hard and worked hard. Some of his activities included riding horses, fishing, swimming, camping, motor biking, and participating in many sports. He also gained a strong work ethic from an early age milking cows, putting up fences, calving, and picking rock.
Phil attended schools in Hillspring, Glenwood, and Cardston, graduating from Cardston High School in 1969. He then went on to University of Lethbridge where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, and then on to Simon Fraser University where he received a Master’s Degree in Pest and Wildlife Control. This would become his life long work.
In 1971, he married Treena Bevans and they had the following children: Kash, Neysa, Sonya, Cheyenne, Chyna Rose, and Kolt. During this time he began guiding hunters in the Yukon, and Northwest Territories during the Summers and really enjoyed it. He also spent time with his family doing many activities such as snowmobiling, hiking, camping, and horse riding. In the end however, the marriage did not last.
In 1995 he met and married Kaye Bridge and they had the following children: Jack and Benjamin. They enjoyed doing many things together such as going on road trips, camping, hiking, horse riding, and taking the boys on sheep hunts, and fishing expeditions. What a wonderful husband and Father!
He worked for Alberta Agriculture from 1972-2020. At first, he worked mainly in the office, but soon spent all of his time in the field helping farmers with coyote and predator problems. He also had other duties such as dairy inspections and fish ponds, and then finally becoming the Alberta Provincial Pest and Wildlife Specialist keeping the Rats out of Alberta!
Phil had a strong faith in God and was a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His testimony of the gospel was strong and steadfast. He served faithfully in many Church callings including councilor in bishoprics, and Temple worker, but the majority of his time was spent in Scouting and the Young Mens’ Program which he loved.
He had many interests. He loved History and anything historical. He had a passion for researching and locating Medicine Wheels throughout Alberta and Montana and loved learning about famous Indian Chiefs and strategic battles. From his university days he learned about plants and could name just about anything he came across. He loved the great outdoors and was never happier than when he was going for a trail ride on his horse. He loved having animals around and always treated them with great care. His horses were always grained until their coats gleamed, and the chickens were taken care of like clockwork. His favourite sidekick though, was his dog Reggie who will be turning 18 in the Fall. Reggie loves everyone, but he always ran to Phil first.
Phil was a friend to all from old to young and was always willing to give a hand to anyone in need. He had a great wit and was fun to be around. Never a dull moment when you were with Phil. He will be dearly missed.
The family expresses their thanks for the many kind and thoughtful acts extended towards Phil. A special thanks to doctors and nurses, in Raymond, Lethbridge and Calgary.
Friends may meet the family on Thursday, July 13, 2023, from 7:00 to 8:00 pm at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Taylor Street Chapel, 221N 400W, Raymond, Alberta or prior to the service from 10:00 to 10:50 am on Friday, July 14, 2023. Funeral Services will begin at 11:00 a.m. with Bishop Travis Bissett officiating.
Interment will follow in the Temple Hill Cemetery, Raymond.