Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Merroll M. Smith (1902-1949)

Growing up I was really too young to know Merroll although I am in a few family pictures with him. I was only four when he died in an automobile accident. Too young to remember anything except stories of him.  I do remember his widow, Dorothy. She was beautiful. They had a daughter, Marilyn, who was a dead ringer for Natalie Wood (at least I thought so).  Merroll, Dorothy and Marilyn came from their home 150 miles away on occasion for family dinners and get togethers  We went to their home in Cedar Rapids when I was five to buy 'going to school clothes' for me.  It is one of my special memories probably because I loved the dresses Mom bought for me.

Once I asked Mom where she was when Pearl Harbor was bombed in 1941. She said she was on her way home from Cedar Rapids with her Uncle Steve and Aunt Ardea. They had gone there to see Merroll and family and do some shopping. Mom bought her wedding blouse there. (I think she was married in a suit.)  Uncle Steve stopped for gas and when he came out of the station, he told them the news.

I think Grandma Estella went to visit her son and family regularly. As a little girl, I remember standing at the Jefferson Railroad Depot waiting for Grandma to get on the passenger train going east.  In the August 13, 1946 newspaper, I found an article that said she had just returned home from a three week visit in the home of her son, Merroll and family of Cedar Rapids. I have found many records of other visits as well.

Merroll attended Iowa State University but I have never found out any more about his education.  He is listed as a real estate salesman in the 1940 census.  In the 1930 census is not yet married but living in Cedar Rapids involved in insurance. By 1934, he was married to Dorothy because their name appears in the City Directory.  I did finally find their marriage date of November 24, 1932. Merroll was exactly 30 years old that day. 

Merroll died unexpectedly from an automobile accident only twenty years after his father died unexpectedly as a result of that horse kick.  Grandma Estella sat at the bedside of each of her beloved men.

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Merroll M. Smith
Services Held Wednesday

     Funeral services were held Friday, November 25 at Cedar Rapids for Merroll M. Smith who passed away the preceding Wednesday from injuries received in an auto accident on November 18.  His mother, Mrs. Estella Smith had been at his bedside since the accident.
     Besides his wife, Dorothy and daughter, Marilyn Mae he leaves his mother, Mrs. Estella Smith of Scranton and one brother and four sisters.
     Those from Scranton who attended the funeral were Mrs. Estella Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Bert Walker, Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Stevens, Mr. and Mrs. Beryl Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. Ted Walker and Mr. and Mrs. Roy Boulward and Mr. and Mrs. E.H. Vorhies of Jefferson.

Card of Thanks

      We wish to thank all the friends and neighbors for flowers, cards and expression of sympathy during the illness and loss of our son and brother.

                                  Mrs. Estella Smith
                         and family
I have no idea why my parents didn't attend the funeral. Merroll's sister, my grandma Nina, was probably living in California but I don't know that for certain.  So many questions and no one to ask.   

Another picture I love.
Merroll and Dorothy are in the back. Grandma Smith is easy to identify. Marvin is shirtless. The little blonde girl is me and my great aunt Ardea has her arms around me. Next to us is Marilyn, daughter of Merroll and Dorothy. To Marilyn's left is my grandma Nina followed by Jean Stevens Johnson holding two year old, Kathy.  My mom, Mary, comes next and behind her is a gaggle of goofy men. To Dorothy's left is Uncle Steve, then Donald. In the far back from left to right is Beryl, Jean's husband, my dad Vern, and Uncle Bert Walker. The photographer must be Aunt Neva since her husband is in the picture but she is not.


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