Merrill Allen Marcy, 94, was born July 10, 1925, in his grandparents’ house in Latah County to Leon and Claribel Marcy, the fourth of six boys. He died March 11, 2020, and was very proud of the fact that he lived in Boundary County longer than anyone else alive. Services will be held at Bonners Ferry Funeral Home at a later date, postponed by the coronavirus pandemic.
He will be buried close to his parents and family members in the Paradise Valley Cemetery this spring.
He came to Naples in the Highland Flats area when he was a few months old. He lived in Highland Flats as a child and then moved to Naples as a young man.
He was born a cripple, and his grandmother straightened his legs by tying them to boards with rags before he could walk. He had rickets as a baby; restless leg syndrome his whole life, rheumatic fever at age 18, which took him out of the running for Golden Gloves in boxing, and arthritis that started at age 19. But he had a long life, he said, from clean living, good doctors and good genes.
He was in the U.S. Navy Seabees from 1944 to 1946 in the South Pacific, specifically Guam, after his initial training at Farragut. He was a very active lifetime member in Chapter #3622 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, serving as Post Commander and Chaplain.
He became engaged New Years Eve, 1946, to Betty Jean Patterson of Paradise Valley. They were married March 30, 1947, at his parents’ house in Naples. This March will be their 73rd wedding anniversary. They built their house in Naples, next to his folks’ place, in 1951. They moved that house to Moravia in 1964 and have lived there on the farm ever since.
He worked for the Railroad for 39 years as laborer, track inspector, machine operator and foreman, first with the Great Northern, and Burlington Northern and then BNSF with all the railroad mergers.
Education was very important to him and he was dismayed at not being able to go to the University of Idaho after the Navy due to the lack of spaces and funds available with the GI Bill. He was president of the Naples PTA and then later served on the Boundary County School Board. He said he was very proud that none of his offspring are detrimental to society.
Merrill and Betty are the parents of three children, Marla Mayer, a public school teacher, Dale Marcy, a chemist, and Midge Marcy-Brennan, a critical care nurse. He has nine grandchildren; a civil engineer, a dentist, a lawyer, a statistician, an IT specialist, a Navy commander, an acupuncturist, a business financial manager and a child counselor. There are 12 great grandchildren, three of whom are U of I alumni.
He enjoyed telling stories of his life, remembering the fine details of events and people from years past. For decades he cared for the Paradise Valley Cemetery, making sure the garbage was taken out and that toilet paper was available. He said his hobbies were raising white mules and doing whatever the kids wanted to do; that included hiking, fishing and horse, mule and donkey riding. His life was also filled with many close friends and relatives in the County; his parents and brothers, the Merrifields, Sinclairs, Hyltons, Andersons, Pattersons, Coopers and others too many to name.
Merrill is survived by his wife, Betty Marcy, children Marla Mayer (Darrell), Dale Marcy (Maxien), and Midge Marcy-Brennan (Jim), grandchildren Stephanie DeChevrieux (Aaron), Bart Eisenbarth (Liz), Andrew Marcy, Peter Marcy, Gary Olivieri, Lance Taylor (Jolie), Emmajean Rombach, Kari Wilson (Jon) and Mick Taylor (Tracy Fox).
His great-grandchildren were very special to him; they are Henry, Alice and Augustus Eisenbarth; Kayne Mayer; Joe, Trevor, and Heath Taylor; Braeden Rombach; Dakota (Braxton Klas), JaeCie, and Alexis Wilson; and Olivia Joy Fox Taylor.