Colleen May (Grandma) Merritt crossed over to meet her Savior on April 10th, 2022. Waiting there to greet her also was her husband of 67 years, Karl. Oh, what a joyous reunion that must have been for both Karl and Colleen. She had been awaiting that reunion since Karl passed. Others were certainly waiting to greet her; her mother, father, all of her sisters, all but one of her brothers, other progenitors, and the long list of friends, neighbors and loved ones whose lives were made better by knowing this sweet woman in mortality. For the rest of us left behind who knew Colleen, we will miss our mother, sister, grandmother, great-grandmother, great-great-grandmother, neighbor and friend - - she brightened the lives of those that were lucky enough to have crossed her life's trail.
Colleen spent a lifetime in service to her family, her husband first - Colleen was always at his side, loving, supporting, tempering and cultivating joy throughout their storied life. Her children next - Colleen was the embodiment of the quote, "A mother's work is never done." Nearly everything Colleen did was in someway related to supporting, loving, growing, or building confidence, for one of her 5 Children, 19 grandchildren, 37 great-grand children, and 3 great-great grandchildren on the Earth when she passed. Colleen distributed food, money, service - even taking her posterity into her home after her kids had been raised - serving whatever need arose and where she could make a difference. If all the world loved like Colleen loved our family, what a great place this world would be.
Colleen was devoted to her faith, it was her North Star throughout her life and a source of strength and learning in her waning years. She was married to Karl in the temple. While raising her five children, she was also always serving in one of her multiple callings within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She served well in all, but it was her time with the primary that she recalled with the most fondness - She loved the children, loved teaching them about the gospel, and the children loved Sister Merritt.
Colleen and Karl raised their family in the heart of Salt Lake City, near Liberty Park. Her grandchildren warmly remember spending nights watching fireworks from her front porch while eating themselves sick on her freshly picked cherries. She was an exemplar for preparation and food storage. There was never a shortage of grain in the cellar, quilts or coats for those who needed them or apricot leather in the pantry from last year's crop. Its a wonder to consider now how so many of us enjoyed the grapes, raspberries, apricots, pears, peaches, apples, currants, cherries and black walnuts that came out of the modestly small yard at 1412 S 500 E. And how little of it went to waste before being bottled, canned shared or stored.
After supporting Karl through his locksmith business and working at Rocky Mountain Bank Note, Colleen and Karl retired
"Waste not, want not." to the Uintah Basin at their little Red Creek Cottage that Karl and Colleen built together with the help from their family. KC's corner - for Karl and Colleen - they spent ~20 years there building friendships and bonds that will last forever. Always the service oriented humanitarians, Colleen and Karl spent countless hours preparing quilting squares, making quilts, knitting hats and scarves, contributing in whatever ways they could to lighten the burden of those in need. Colleen is loved and respected everywhere she has called home, and she has left an inspiring legacy of what it really means to be a good neighbor.
In the Fall of 2020, Colleen moved to Ogden to be closer to family and services. She helped to take care of Karl in his final months of life in Ogden and buried her life-long partner after his passing on December 30th, 2020. The last year Colleen has spent in contemplation about the gospel, her Savior, life in mortality and pondering how these mysteries all fit together. And of course she has missed her Karl. Colleen was very grateful for her daughter Diane's caregiving in the twilight years of both her and her husband's lives - a legacy of service passed from mother to daughter.
We are confident as Colleen passed over to meet the Savior in his embracing arms, he whispered to Colleen, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”
- Survived By
- Karleen Joy Billings (Mike), Daughter
- Gavin Russell Merritt (Lori), Son
- Diane Marie Chappell, Daughter
- Richard Randall Merritt, Son
- Roger Alan Merritt, Son
- Stanley Rex Riding (Karen), Brother
- Preceded in Death By
- Karl Britten Merritt, Husband
- Lois Jean Hutchinson (Hutch), Sister
- Donna Rieske (Bud), Sister
- John A Riding (Jean), Brother
- Jerry Riding (Louise), Brother
- John Aurelius Riding, Father
- Cecial May King Riding, Mother
Life Story Info
Cause of Death
Religion and Beliefs
- Rocky Mountain Bank Note
You have been such a pillar of strength to me, I'm so grateful that I ha
d the chance to hold your hands and and look in your eyes and tell you how much you mean to me. I have been so blessed to have you in my life, thank you for always being there for me and being such an amazing mother-inlaw. My heart brakes because I love you and will miss you, but find comfort in knowing you are finally with your sweetheart!
Sweet Grandma, you will be missed. I have been touched by your testimony and strength throughout the years. I recall the times you sat with me teaching, quilting, reminiscing about life, kids, old times and especially the depth of knowledge you instilled in me about food storage and preparation. I recall the early times of Christmas, summer outside watching fireworks, laughter as we rode in the back of the station wagon with no seatbelts, piled high with the cousins one on top of the other. I always felt loved by you. I longed for the trips as a child to come to the property to play with the cousins and swing in the tree or splash in the river. We'd hike up the mountain and pretend we were kings and queens. I thank you for each birthday card you sent, for the loving phone calls and hugs. I love you. I know you are where you need to be, probably yelling and hugging grandpa at the same time. I am so thankful you were in my life. Till we meet again. God Bless.
What a beautiful, thoughtful, pleasant, faithful, and talented lady. I have been privileged to know her all my life and feel blessed to have served in that position. I will certainly miss my cousin and friend dearly until such time as the good Lord allows us to be in each others company again. The Lord gained a wonderful soul and we lost, for awhile, a precious soul in our midst. May God bless and keep you Coleen until we meet again. We love you.
Colleen and Karl with Karleen and Russ- starting a family
We love you grandma!
We will miss you grandma!
Dec 10, 1999
Wedding Snap - Grandma and Grandpa (Brother Brigham)
Grandma meeting the twins, Eva and Eli
Mar 26, 2017
Eva and Grandma hanging out
Dec 25, 2018
Christmas at the University Hospital
Apr 21, 2019
Grandma's last visit to her upper property.
May 12, 2019
Mother's day at Red Creek. Eva Chappell and Great-Grandma.
May 12, 2019
Mother's Day with Grandma at Red Creek
Sep 5, 2020
Leaving Red Creek - moving to Ogden
Mar 19, 2021