James R. Merriman age 92, peacefully passed away on Saturday, January 7, 2017 surrounded by his loving family. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Shirley Ann Janice Merriman; children, Sheree (Joseph) Wojtysiak and James R. Merriman II; grandchildren, Ryan Wojtysiak and Summer Merriman.
Jim was a lifetime member of the VFW Post 802 in Hammond and for 28 years he worked with the local high schools educating the students on WWII history. He also was a member of the crew of the USS Strong (DD 467) and the USS St. Louis (CL-49), charter member of the WWII Memorial in Washington, DC.,
This was a poem he kept in his pocket.
A VETERAN DIED TODAY
He was getting old and paunchy and his hair was falling fast,
he sat around the Legion, telling stories of the past,
of a war that he once fought in and the deeds that he had done,
in his exploits with his buddies; they were heroes, every one.
'Tho sometimes to his neighbors his tales became a joke,
his buddies listened quietly for they knew where of he spoke.
But we'll hear his tales no longer, for old Jim has passed away,
the world's a little poorer for a Veteran died today.
He won’t be mourned by many, just his children and wife,
for he lived an ordinary, quiet sort of life.
He held a job and raised a family, going quietly on his way;
the world will not note his passing, 'tho a Veteran died today.
- Author anonymous....
Thank you all, he loved and lived for seeing everyone at the reunions.
Sheree Wojtysiak, Daughter, and proud of my dad James Merriman
Those of us who knew him for so many years with the USS STRONG DD 467/758 Association will truly miss him, his funny and amazing stories, his great humor and his hugs. If anyone would like to contact the family, I have Sheree’s email address and can share it if you email me. Otherwise, a mailing address is: Sheree Wojtysiak, 9507 Beall Street, Dyer, Indiana, 46311.
The photo below was taken in Charleston, South Carolina at the last reunion in 2016. Calm waters, warm winds and a sturdy boat to carry you, Jim. You will be missed.
Tammi and Greg