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Rebecca "Becky" Merrill Obituary

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Rebecca "Becky" Merrill

Marshalltown, Iowa

February 28, 1947 - May 13, 2024

Rebecca "Becky" Merrill Obituary

Rebecca “Becky” Jordan Merrill, 77, died peacefully at her home on May 13, 2024, in Marshalltown, Iowa. She was born February 28, 1947, in Peoria, Illinois, daughter of Richard James Jordan and Gloria Louise (Dunlap) Jordan. Becky moved from Decatur, Illinois to Marshalltown with her family when she was five. She attended St Mary’s Catholic School and graduated with academic honors from Marshalltown High School in 1965. After attending Marshalltown Community College for one year, she transferred to Mankato State University and graduated with a B.S. in Elementary Education in 1969. On July 18th, 1969, she was united in marriage to Darwin Lee Merrill at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Marshalltown. Together they built their forever home on the outskirts of Marshalltown. As time went on, she and Darwin purchased a small ranch in Rockport, Texas. This became their winter home where they would escape the harsh Iowa winters.


Becky taught kindergarten at Palmer Elementary in Marshalltown. She later took a position as a reading specialist with the West Marshall Community School District, serving the Clemons, Melbourne, and State Center campuses. Becky and Darwin chose to honor her commitment to education by awarding several scholarships to deserving students. These scholarships were presented to West Marshall graduating seniors, Mankato State University and Marshalltown Community College students. Becky served on the MCC Foundation Board of Directors since 2021. She loved staying in contact with her former students over the past 50 years.


Becky’s passion in life was her love of horses. She left teaching to raise and show horses, which she undertook wholeheartedly. Over the years, she won ten World Championships, five Reserve World champions at the following World Shows: All American Quarter Horse Congress, American Paint Horse, American Pinto Horse, and the Palomino Horse Breeders of America. Becky loved all her horses, but there were two that were incredibly special to her. Just Step Aside “Jess” and her last horse, Understated “Porter” were those two. At 8 days old Just Step Aside lost her mother. Becky nursed and bottle fed her, forming a bond like no other. Becky and “Jess” went on to win three All American Quarter Horse Congress Championships in Trail class, three times. Each year this incredible team beat out over two hundred competitors to earn this title at the largest breed show in the nation. Becky was a national spokesperson for Kent Feeds for twenty years, sharing her knowledge and support to many 4-H and FFA members, giving free clinics, and guidance to young upcoming equestrians throughout the state. Each year Becky would attend the Iowa State Fair passing out awards and prizes to the winners, congratulating and encouraging all the exhibitors.


When she was not showing and tending to her horses Becky enjoyed traveling which included trips to Italy, New Zealand, France and most recently a fishing trip to Costa Rica. The highlight there was deep sea fishing, where she landed several Sailfish and Mahi Mahi. Becky also enjoyed hunting in South Texas where she hunted deer and wild turkey. Becky was an avid dog lover. She had many different breeds over the years. One of her greatest loves was her wire fox terrier Mallory, who was her constant companion. They enjoyed going for boat rides at the lake and rides around the farm on the side-by-side.

She is survived by Darwin, her husband of 55 years; her sister Deborah Jordan Wilkening of Conroe, Texas; sister-in law Connie (Derald) Merrill of Elgin, Ill; nephews Jarrod Wilkening, Conroe, Texas; Jeff Merrill of San Diego, Ca; and Patrick Loney of Denver, Co. and David Loney of Albuquerque, NM; and nieces Angie Loney Hunt of Adel, Ia; Julie Merrill, Elgin, Ill; Jill Merrill, Las Vegas, Nev. and Jody Merrill, Denver, CO.


Donations can be made to Iowa River Hospice.


- lovingly written by the family


To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of Rebecca "Becky" Merrill hosted by Mitchell Family Funeral Home.

Rebecca “Becky” Jordan Merrill, 77, died peacefully at her home on May 13, 2024, in Marshalltown, Iowa. She was born February 28, 1947, in Peoria, Illinois, daughter of Richard James Jordan and Gloria Louise (Dunlap) Jordan. Becky moved from Decatur, Illinois to Marshalltown with her family when she was five. She attended St Mary’s Catholic School and graduated with academic honors from Marshalltown High School in 1965. After attending Marshalltown Community College for one year, she transferred to Mankato State University and graduated with a B.S. in Elementary Education in 1969. On July 18th, 1969, she was united in marriage to Darwin Lee Merrill at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Marshalltown. Together they built their forever home on the outskirts of Marshalltown. As time went on, she and Darwin purchased a small ranch in Rockport, Texas. This became their winter home where they would escape the harsh Iowa winters.


Becky taught kindergarten at Palmer Elementary in Marshalltown. She later took a position as a reading specialist with the West Marshall Community School District, serving the Clemons, Melbourne, and State Center campuses. Becky and Darwin chose to honor her commitment to education by awarding several scholarships to deserving students. These scholarships were presented to West Marshall graduating seniors, Mankato State University and Marshalltown Community College students. Becky served on the MCC Foundation Board of Directors since 2021. She loved staying in contact with her former students over the past 50 years.


Becky’s passion in life was her love of horses. She left teaching to raise and show horses, which she undertook wholeheartedly. Over the years, she won ten World Championships, five Reserve World champions at the following World Shows: All American Quarter Horse Congress, American Paint Horse, American Pinto Horse, and the Palomino Horse Breeders of America. Becky loved all her horses, but there were two that were incredibly special to her. Just Step Aside “Jess” and her last horse, Understated “Porter” were those two. At 8 days old Just Step Aside lost her mother. Becky nursed and bottle fed her, forming a bond like no other. Becky and “Jess” went on to win three All American Quarter Horse Congress Championships in Trail class, three times. Each year this incredible team beat out over two hundred competitors to earn this title at the largest breed show in the nation. Becky was a national spokesperson for Kent Feeds for twenty years, sharing her knowledge and support to many 4-H and FFA members, giving free clinics, and guidance to young upcoming equestrians throughout the state. Each year Becky would attend the Iowa State Fair passing out awards and prizes to the winners, congratulating and encouraging all the exhibitors.


When she was not showing and tending to her horses Becky enjoyed traveling which included trips to Italy, New Zealand, France and most recently a fishing trip to Costa Rica. The highlight there was deep sea fishing, where she landed several Sailfish and Mahi Mahi. Becky also enjoyed hunting in South Texas where she hunted deer and wild turkey. Becky was an avid dog lover. She had many different breeds over the years. One of her greatest loves was her wire fox terrier Mallory, who was her constant companion. They enjoyed going for boat rides at the lake and rides around the farm on the side-by-side.

She is survived by Darwin, her husband of 55 years; her sister Deborah Jordan Wilkening of Conroe, Texas; sister-in law Connie (Derald) Merrill of Elgin, Ill; nephews Jarrod Wilkening, Conroe, Texas; Jeff Merrill of San Diego, Ca; and Patrick Loney of Denver, Co. and David Loney of Albuquerque, NM; and nieces Angie Loney Hunt of Adel, Ia; Julie Merrill, Elgin, Ill; Jill Merrill, Las Vegas, Nev. and Jody Merrill, Denver, CO.


Donations can be made to Iowa River Hospice.


- lovingly written by the family


To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of Rebecca "Becky" Merrill hosted by Mitchell Family Funeral Home.

Events

Event information can be found on the Official Obituary of Rebecca "Becky" Merrill.