|Lois J. Merrill remembered|
Lois Jean Merrill, Nursing dean emeritus, died Dec. 22 in Rogers, Ark. She was born Aug. 3, 1932, to the late Robert and Lydia (Crook) Merrill in New Haven Connecticut.
Merrill earned her B.S. degree in Nursing from the University of Connecticut in 1955, her M.S. degree in Nursing in 1960 from the University of Colorado and her Ph.D. in education from the University of Nebraska in 1978. In 1986, Lois moved to North Dakota where she was Dean and Professor of the UND College of Nursing until her retirement in 1995. In 1995, she established the Lois J. Merrill UND College of Nursing Endowment. It was her desire to continue to enhance and strengthen the Nursing Program at UND and to provide a means for students in nursing to continue their education. Her previous professional experience included professor and dean of the University of Evansville School of Nursing and Health Science, associate professor and associate dean of the University of Nebraska College of Nursing, associate professor at the University of Kentucky College of Nursing and Instructor at Syracuse University School of Nursing. Before starting her teaching career she practiced Nursing at Presbyterian Hospital, Denver, Colo., and at Cincinnati General Hospital. After retiring, she moved to Bella Vista where she resided until 2005.
Lois published many education articles, was program director for grants provided by DHHS, Division of Nursing and presented a variety of professional papers throughout the States and Canada. During her professional career, she was a member of ANA, NLN, Midwest Alliance, American Association of Colleges of Nursing and Sigma Theta Tau, International. In addition, she participated as an external evaluator and accrediting visitor for baccalaureate nursing programs.
She is survived by her sister and brother-in-law, Joyce and Wilfred St. John of North Branford, Conn.; three nephews, Bob and Eileen St. John of North Haven Conn., David St. John of Racine, Wis. and Craig St. John of Milwaukee, Wis. and her friend of 50 years, Beverly McDermott of Gravette, Ark.
Lois fought a long and hard battle with poor health since March of 2004. However, throughout it all she remained strong and continued to maintain her very dry and spontaneous sense of humor. She will be remembered for her keen administrative abilities, her dedication and leadership in guiding students and faculty in nursing and her love of the water and mountains. Her proudest accomplishment was her education. Lois will be deeply missed by her family and friends.
At her request, no services are planned. Arrangements are by the Bella Vista Funeral Home & Crematory. Burial will take place at a later date at Fairhaven-Union Cemetery in New Haven, Conn. Memorial may be made in her name to the Lois J. Merrill UND College of Nursing Endowment; Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Church Street Station, P.O. Box 780, New York, NY 10008-0780; AAUW Scholarship Fund; or a charity of donor’s choice. On-line condolences may be made at www.funeralmation.com
-- Becky Cournia, Alumni & Development Officer, College of Nursing, firstname.lastname@example.org, 777-4526