Jacqueline "Jackie" (Childers) MerrillJune 11, 1930 ~ January 16, 2018 (age 87)
Jacqueline Childers was born to Willie Mary (Billie) Cook & John Thomas Childers in Anniston, Alabama on June 11, 1930. The family moved several times, living in Georgia and Kentucky before settling in Dallas, TX. Jackie graduated from North Dallas High School in January of 1948.
Jackie met Joe Merrill at the Bomber Grill at Love Field in Dallas (how appropriate) in 1946, while he was home on leave from the Navy. They danced the night away, and by the end of the night, he told her "I'm going to marry you." After honorably serving his country, Joe received his military discharge, and the two were married on August 14, 1948.
In the 1950's and early 1960's, while taking care of her family, Jackie owned and operated the Royal Hobby Center in Dallas, and was also a Brunswick professional bowling instructor for many years. She was quite the social butterfly among several Dallas civic clubs, being famously known for speaking her mind. (No surprise there...)
In 1966, a job opportunity for Joe meant moving the family to Minnesota. Not particularly thrilled with leaving her beloved, warm Texas to move to cold Minnesota, she managed to adapt well. They continued to raise their family while residing in Roseville, MN.
In 1968, Joe received another opportunity to advance his career with a manufacturing company (GMC), which necessitated another move - to Glenwood, MN. She was a bit skeptical at living in such a small town in a rural area, but soon became very active with the Minnewaska Golf Club, serving as president of the ladies evening league in the 1970's. She remained a club member for nearly 40 years. With bowling in her blood, she joined a local ladies league, and served as its president for a year, as well.
In the early 1980's, Jackie assisted Joe with administrative duties at Merrill & Associates, a management consulting firm. In the mid 80's, Jackie bought Khaii LTD, which produced strobe lights for law enforcement and emergency vehicles, worldwide. For several years, the business was moved to St. Cloud, MN, while Joe studied and instructed at St. Cloud State University. While maintaining an apartment in St. Cloud, they returned to their home in Glenwood on weekends. The business moved back to Glenwood when Joe's degree was completed, where it remained until she sold the business, and began caring for Joe, who was in declining health. He passed in February of 1998, six months short of their 50th wedding anniversary.
In 1999, Jackie found a wonderful friend in Marshall Schensted, who had also recently lost his spouse, as well. They chose not to marry, but shared a commitment ceremony with family and friends. Jackie & Marsh enjoyed many winters in New Braunfels, TX. Sadly, Marshall succumbed to cancer in 2013.
She loved her Thursday card club, monthly Birthday Club (40 years), singing her heart out at karaoke, her dinner and wine at Lakeside, Lindor dark chocolate truffles, and most of all, sharing love, laughter, and fun with her family.
A Celebration Of Life was held during Happy Hour at Lakeside Ballroom in Glenwood, MN. She has been interred next to her beloved, Joe in Glenwood Lutheran Cemetery.
Jackie is survived by her children, Dave (Denise) Merrill, Isanti MN; Teresa Merrill, Austin TX; and Greg Merrill, Minneapolis MN. Grandchildren Georgia Ritter, Abbie Ensrud, Shannon Merrill, Jessie Peterson, and Luke Merrill; great-grandchildren Semaj, Elijah, Brynn, Alex, Blair, and Fallon.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Joe, in 1998; twin sister Geraldine (at birth), brother Bobby, partner Marshall Schensted, and granddaughter Shelbie Merrill.
Our dear and lovely lady will be forever missed, but certainly never forgotten. She's now sharing love and entertaining a whole new crowd. God has dearly blessed her life.