He met Cherie Hurst while attending school at Santa Monica City College. They were married in the Los Angeles LDS temple June 21, 1968. They raised five children in Las Vegas, where he owned a carpet cleaning business for 25 years.
He was involved in Boy Scouts of America as a scoutmaster, and served in various other callings in the LDS church. He loved animals, the outdoors, traveling, his garden and, especially, his wife, children and grandchildren. Jay and Cherie retired to Gallatin in 2006, where he resided until the onset of his illness.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Phyllis Bates Merrill; and his brother, Doug Merrill. He is survived by his brother, Sonny (Nancy) Merrill; his wife, Cherie Hurst Merrill; his daughters, Wendy (Anthony) Perkins, Cynthia (Chas) Stumbo, Tracey (Fitz) Bloxham and Jaime Merrill; his son, Josh (Jenni) Merrill; 14 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
Viewing will be 10-11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, with funeral services following, both at the LDS Chapel, 630 Riesling Ave., Santa Clara, Utah.
Although flowers are welcome and appreciated, we are asking that donations be made in his honor to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, National Children’s Leukemia Foundation, or the Huntsman Cancer Institute.