Graveside service for J L Merrill, age 88, of Moore, Oklahoma, formerly of Frederick, was held 2:00 p.m. Monday, October 14, 2019. Mr. Merrill passed away on Thursday, October 10, 2019. Burial was in the Frederick Memorial Cemetery under the direction of Orr Gray Gish Funeral Home.
J L Merrill was born on February 14, 1930, in Pecan Gap, Texas, to Charley Barrett and Willie (Henry) Merrill. In 1947, he graduated Valedictorian from Morton High School, in Morton, Texas. He attended Wayland Baptist College in Plainview, Texas, from 1947 – 1949. He married Virginia Faith Morris on July 2, 1953, and was divorced in 1964. He served honorably in the United States Army from 1954 – 1956 as a special agent in Counterintelligence. He married Joy Mae Gaines on October 3, 1964. She preceded him in death in 1997. He attended night school from 1967 – 1970 at Oklahoma City University and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, graduating at the head of his class. He worked for the State of Oklahoma's Tax Commission for 21 years, with the last 12 years as a Tax Commissioner. During that time, he served on numerous boards, and also served in 1980 as President of Region II of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, and in 1981 as President of the Midwestern States Association of Tax Administrators. In 1985, he served as President of the National Tax Association—Tax Institute of America. After his retirement, he moved to Frederick, Oklahoma, where he was an active member of the Frederick Lions Club and the First Presbyterian Church. He served as an elder in the church. He married Virginia Beth Brantly of Frederick, Oklahoma on September 5, 1998, in Duncan, Oklahoma, with a former Frederick pastor officiating. She preceded him in death in 2016 at the age of 90. On February 17, 2017, he married Nicoleta Ash. They moved from Lawton, Oklahoma to Moore, Oklahoma.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a wife, Joy Mae (Stevens) Merrill; a wife, Virginia Beth Merrill; a brother, Marion Franklin Merrill; a sister, Melba Taylor, and a sister, Bernice Dancer.
He is survived by his wife, Nicoleta Ash, of the home; a stepdaughter, Alyssa Ash; a daughter, Nikki Dawn Richardson, of Plainview, Texas; a brother-in-law, Dr. W.E. Ashby, of Ventura, California; a stepdaughter, Lynne Wilkins and her husband, William, of Carreg Cennen, Llandeilo, Carms, Wales, UK, their two daughters, Laura and Lucy, of London, England, and a myriad of nieces and nephews.
Memorial contributions may be made to the First United Methodist Church, Frederick, Oklahoma, in loving memory of J L Merrill.
Orr Gray Gish Funeral Home
111 N. 11th Street
Frederick, OK 73542
"Service Beyond Expectation"