Rosa Ellison Merritt

Monday, December 7, 2015 5:59 pm

Rosa Ellison Merritt passed away peacefully in the presence of family Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015, at Evans Memorial Home in Cresco. Arrangements have been made by Lindstrom Funeral Home in Cresco. A Celebration of the Life of Rosa Merritt will be held on a later date.
Rosa was born June 2, 1931, in Washington, D.C., to Lettie Pierce Ellison and Dr. Richard Ellison and was raised in Fredericksburg, Va. After attending Howard University in Washington, D.C. she was united in marriage with William Ross Merritt, Jr. Jan. 28, 1950, in Frederick, Md. The Merritts lived in Washington, D.C., Lexington, Ky. and Lewisboro, N.Y., before moving to Decorah, in 1977. The family settled on one of its farms, which is located in Ridgeway. Iowa became a special home for Rosa and her family where she continued to nurture, love and protect them until she took her last breath. Wherever Rosa lived she brought with her the strong sense of family values, unity and a never-ending desire to learn. Rosa had a passion for everything from her new friends and contacts, to spinning yarn, varied needlework projects and fiber arts, to local national and international events and politics. Rosa’s lifelong interest in horticulture, with a commitment to the natural cultivation of plants and a special interest in orchids and produce for the consumption by her family, friends and neighbors has been embraced by multiple generations of her family. Rosa and her husband shared a strong personal sense of ethics, activism and interests with all family members and their spouses. Those traits have been embraced and have become lifelong practices that celebrate and give tribute to their lives as individuals and as a couple.   
Rosa was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. William Ross Merritt, Jr. and is survived by her children: Ross Merritt (Silvia), Richard Merritt (Carolyn Corbin), Sondra Merritt (William Frame), Lenelle Merritt (Julio Lopez) and Lauren Merritt; her grandchildren: Adrian Mebane (Pamela), Julian Merritt, Lucas Merritt, Asha Merritt, Alexi Merritt and Victor Merritt; and great-grandchildren Carson Merritt, Justin Mebane and Eva Mebane.

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