Helen Merrill

Helen Merrill passed away peacefully on July 10, 2018 at Wyatt House, where she had lived for the past three years.

Helen was born Oct. 23, 1934. She had been a resident of Bainbridge Island since 1970. Helen succumbed to complications related to dementia.

Helen was actively involved in poetry circles on the island, was a lover of nature, and enjoyed hiking and cross-country skiing. She was one of Grace Church’s earliest members and also practiced Serene Reflection Meditation in the tradition of Houn Jiyu-Kennett as well as tai chi. She was a reading specialist with the Bainbridge Island School District and was an avid and thoughtful reader herself.

Helen was also a certified Master Gardener with an impressive green thumb and eye for garden design. She had a number of pets over the years, and treasured their company (especially the cats).

Helen was married for 58 years to Craig Merrill, who predeceased her. She is survived by her daughters Jennifer Merrill (Reed Price) and Laura Merrill (James Butler); sister Sara McKenzie; and four grandchildren — who adored her — Mimi, Evan, Lily and Ben.

She received a B.A. from Colorado College, where she met Craig. Helen and Craig lived in a number of small towns in Arizona, including Ajo, Camp Verde, and Prescott, which Helen especially loved, before moving to the Seattle area in the mid-‘60s.

Helen’s family suggests that those who wish to contribute to a memorial in Helen’s name consider Grace Church or the Methow Conservancy, which seeks to protect the North Cascades Valley that was so precious to Helen and Craig.

A memorial service will take place at 4 p.m. Friday, July 20, at Seabold Hall on Bainbridge Island.

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