Karl Merritt was an unforgettable character. Folks that met him were drawn to his quick wit and unique sense of humor. His smile was wide and his heart was big. One was not able to talk with Karl without hearing one of his unique jokes or a funny story.

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Karl was born March 12, 1932 to Richard and Sidney Merritt in Hysham Montana. He spent his younger years in Montana before serving his country in the Korean War - 1951 to 1953. He was discharged from the military in 1954. Karl achieved the rank of Corporal while serving in Korea and he was decorated with a National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal with 4 Bronze Service Stars, an Army of Occupation Medal, and the United Nations Service Medal. Although injured during battle, he was treated in a French hospital and so was not awarded an earned Purple Heart.

Karl returned home and married his sweetheart Colleen in May of 1953. He is survived by 5 children, Karleen (Bob), Russell (Lori), Randy, Diane and Roger. His posterity includes an additional 21 grandchildren, 40 great-grandchildren and 2 soon-to-be great-great-grandchildren.

Karl and Colleen spent most of their years together in Salt Lake City near Liberty Park where they raised their 5 children. Karl and Colleen were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple in 1972. Karl was a locksmith for ~50 years. Nearly half of that time, he owned and operated D&K (Doug and Karl) Locksmith on 3300s. Many people remember Karl sitting behind the counter of that old shop with a cup of coffee and joke waiting.

Karl and Colleen spent the next 20 years in retirement in Fruitland UT, living in the cabin Karl built along with his kids and grandkids. While in Fruitland, Karl volunteered with the Church's humanitarian program and was always found cutting quilting squares or knitting a winter hat for the needy. While in Fruitland, they always had their best friends at their sides - their many dogs.

Just this past autumn, Karl and Colleen had moved to Ogden UT to be closer to family in their twilight days. He will be a missing figure in the lives of many as husband, dad and grandpa.



Thursday, Jan. 07, 2021 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Utah Veterans Cemetery & Memorial Park (Camp Williams)
17111 1700 W
Bluffdale, UT 84065


  • Survived By
  • Colleen May (Riding) Merritt, Spouse
  • Karleen Joy Billings, Daughter
  • Gavin Russell Merritt, Son
  • Diane Marie Chappell, Daughter
  • Richard Randall Merritt, Son
  • Roger Alan Merritt, Son
  • Preceded in Death By
  • Richard Randall Merritt, Father
  • Sidney Rene Merritt, Mother

Life Story Info

Post Date

Jan 04, 2021

Personal Info

Cause of Death

Natural Causes





Religion and Beliefs

Latter-day Saint

Military Affiliation

  • Army


  • Korean War
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My grandpa will be missed! I always looked forward to going up to his property to see them. It was peaceful to visit up in the mountains. I was sad to see the little yellow kid swing gone, my kids loved playing in it when they were little! Grandpa was better understood by my older self and that his “you stink” really meant “I love you!”

Wendy Hash , Riverton , UT, US Jan 07, 2021

I will miss his sense of humor as he would often stop into my brother in law's key shop on his way home and tell us stories and have some great laughs. He was a great man and locksmith.

Todd , SLC, UT, US Jan 07, 2021

Wow, I'm so sorry to hear Mr. Merritt has passed on. I spent many hours in his home growing up. He always had a joke to tell you. I have wondered where he came up with them. Did he have a hidden library or a secret Encyclopedia Joketania of humor? All I know is that every day he had a new one. My favorite memory of Mr. Merritt was the only time I ever witnessed his joking around backfire on him. I was setting in his kitchen one afternoon when I was about 13. I was at that age when acne starts raging. I had an enormous firey red blemish on the end of my nose. He came in and said Korby whats that on your nose as he poked it. Well, the added pressure caused the bemish to erupt and its contents shot directly into his face. He never poked at my acne again. My prayers are with all of you! I have so many happy memories growing up down the street from the Merritt's. Mat the Lord's peace be with you. Love, Korby

Korby J Christensen , North Logan, UT, US Jan 06, 2021

My grandpa was a man who wouldn't let your head get too big. Someone who wasn't afraid to tell you how it was and never shied away from sharing his opinion or advice. He had humor and wit that were impossible to match. Every time I saw him he would have me laughing within minutes. He will be missed.

Trae Chappell , Ogden, UT, US Jan 06, 2021

I will miss Karl and his sense of humor, jokes and smiling.

Nina Robinson Jan 05, 2021

Will missed very much.

Nina Robinson Jan 05, 2021

There will never be anyone else that I enjoy trading jabs with more, than Grandpa Merritt. He was a patriarch for our families for all these years and one that everyone truly loved being around.

He was a hero in times of war, a teacher in times of need and a loving husband, father, grandfather and so much more, in every time in between.

Thank you for all you've done for everyone lucky enough to call you a friend, or even better, family. I am incredibly proud to bear your name, and call you my GrandFather.

They just don't make guys like this anymore, and there will never be another one quite like him.

Spencer Merritt , Midvale, UT, US Jan 05, 2021

Oh Grandpa! You are already so missed! I have so very many fond memories of growing up with you. Through my childhood I will never forget Christmas time at your house, being next to you as you sat by the fire and read your books. Mom and Dad driving us to your house on Sunday's to play with the cousins. As I grew older, I learned to read your humor and love you for it. You would always make time for me amid your crossword puzzles and talk to me or show me what project you were working on. Teaching each one of us the importance of giving to others and how crucial it was that we have a food storage for our families. But my favorite memory is you working beside me making quilts. You would always tell me I was doing it wrong and show me what you did. Maybe you knew that I would listen but go about still doing it my way. I have kept this tradition going with my family and my children and we make blankets and quilts all throughout the year. I am also pleased to tell you that we have a sufficient food storage and I know you would be proud.

I'll always remember the way you would love on my kids when they were little by kissing all the little roly-poly's and smelling the heavenly love that only comes with babies. I have a wonderful picture of you and me when I was days old, loving me the same way. I will cherish this forever. Thank you Grandpa for just being YOU! There is no one like you and that is the way it should be. I love you. I am thankful for God's plan and know that we will all be together one day. - Shandi

Shandi Adamson , Grantsville , UT, US Jan 05, 2021

Karl, will be missed in Fruitland. He would bring in a large box filled with colorful square and he always had a joke or story to tell He always liked to tease the women I would take material out to him and was a chance to visit with Karl and Colleen. We never left that we spent at least and hour or two. I can’t tell you how many quilts we have made that Karl cut for us.

He will be missed. He has cut squares for us for over 20 years. We all loved him

Michelle Hill

Michelle Hill Jan 05, 2021

Grandpa Merritt will always hold such a special place in my heart. I loved him so much - and I know he loved me, too. I never left his place without a big hug and tears were almost always in his eyes. Visiting with grandpa was never boring - he always had a colorful joke, a crazy story or some stern advice for me. I am SO grateful for the past 4 years we have spent in Utah so my kids could get to know their great-grandparents. The memories we have made together are priceless. Thank you, Karl for all of the love & all of the lessons. Family is Forever. 'Til we meet again. XO

Katie , Henefer, UT, US Jan 04, 2021

Grandpa was a great person. He teased us a lot but was still one of the best people. I remember one time when I came to his house he complimented my pants and that has just stuck with me. He will be greatly missed by friends and family.

Zoe Marie Jan 04, 2021

Eva Chappell

I will remember when grandpa came to Thanksgiving with us. We loved listening to the old records with him.

It was always fun to drive to his land and visit him and swing on the old rope swing.

Wes Chappell Jan 04, 2021

I remember going up to the land and talking with him and hearing jokes! He always had something new to tell me. I also remember going up and playing out in the sun. I am grateful I moved home and got to make great memories with my great grandparents! Lots of love for my Grandpa! Can't wait to see him again!

Eva Chappell Jan 04, 2021

Wes Chappell and Family

We will miss grandpa. We loved him a lot.

I remember when I was a teenager or early 20 -something; I stopped by the shop on 33rd - dropping something off to him. He looked at my tires on my old Ford Ranger and said stay here while he took my keys from me... He took my truck to 'a buddy of his' and had new tires out on my truck [ which were badly needed ] and came back and told me to 'get outa' there - I'd been hanging around too long at his shop'. It was a great act of service and love by grandpa that I will always remember.

Wes Chappell Jan 04, 2021