View On Strong Women
Merri was born in Denver, Colorado, and shortly thereafter, the family moved to Salt Lake City, Utah. Merri’s father was in construction, so they moved to various states throughout her childhood.
After graduating from high school, she attended a junior college in California where she was residing at the time.
Later, she moved to the their base, as her family called it, in the Salt Lake City area where she met her husband, Wynn. After they were married, they settled in Salt Lake and raised their son, Wynn, and daughter, Noel. As with most families, it was full of activities like football, dance, boating, camping, and motorcycle riding every weekend. When their kids started activities of their own, Merri and Wynn discovered their love of golf.
In Merri’s job as sales manager and event coordinator for a large trucking company, she had the chance to coordinate a huge fundraiser for Make a Wish Foundation, choosing golf as the vehicle. By having a double shotgun every year, their endeavors raised thousands of dollars for Make A Wish. Merri and Wynn’s love for golf continued to grow, and they spent every vacation visiting golf destinations, including Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head, Palm Springs, courses in California, Idaho, and probably every course in Utah. But in the end, their favorite destination was Mesquite, Nevada.
Merri and Wynn came to Mesquite many, many times in the 80s and 90s, golfing on Mesquite and St. George courses. Along with many friends, they fell in love with the area. They decided to buy a townhome in Mesquite and called it a permanent retirement home in 2002. Wynn retired, and Merri kept working for her company. Soon after they moved, her sister Mina and her husband moved to Mesquite from Colorado. They also bought a townhome in Mesquite and called it a permanent retirement home in 2001.
Merri and Wynn quickly became very active in the area, and even though Merri was still working in areas such as Salt Lake, Las Vegas, and St. George, they made time to golf as much as possible.
In 2004, after 38 years of marriage, Merri’s husband unexpectedly passed away. With love from the community, her sister, her children, and her close friends, she was able to make it through this very difficult time. It was a blessing that her daughter Noel and her family had also moved to Mesquite.
Merri and her sister got more involved with various charities, and with the help of the city, her daughter Noel, and many other great people, she was able to get the Miss Mesquite Pageant reinstated. She felt that the lovely girls here in Mesquite should have something to help further their education. Her first attempt at major fundraising was the first Miss Mesquite Pageant Golf Tournament. All funds from the tournament go toward scholarships for the pageant winners. Needless to say, with the help of the community, it was a major success and thousands of dollars were raised for the contestants.
Around this time, Merri and her sister Mina were very active in the Rotary Morning Club, and after a few years, each became Rotarian of the Year. Merri believes it is an honor to help in any way she can. Merri was also very active in the Chamber of Commerce where she planned other fundraisers, golf tournaments, and the first annual Wine and Roses dinner dance fundraiser. She is always willing to help.
Merri felt honored to help Golf Fore Kids for a few years with Brian Wursten, Rob Wurston, and Mindee West. She has been a guest showgirl for Jean Watkins which has brought her much happiness.
For approximately eight years, Merri has been involved with the Mesquite Chamber of Commerce, serving on various board positions. One year she was chosen as the Business Person of the Year. She has been a member of the Exchange Club of Mesquite, a member of the Elks Lodge, and is currently working on the board for the Ms. Senior Mesquite Pageant.
Merri is currently enjoying watching the growth and triumphs of her five grandkids and six great-grandkids.
Even though, thanks to her arthritis, she cannot golf as much as she would like, she is able to work at one of her favorite golf courses, which is a major accomplishment. She has also checked off an item on her bucket list — getting a hole in one at that same course.
Whether you’re watching the sunrise on the 1st hole, or the sunset on 18th hole, the peace and tranquility will capture you. Merri has always told her friends, “If you love to golf, you will love Mesquite.”
We, here at View On Magazine, and the city of Mesquite, are grateful for Merri, her amazingly positive attitude, and the love she shares with everyone she meets. If you are lucky enough to see her on a course, be sure to stop and thank her for all she does for the community.