Jerri Lynn Merritt

Jerri Lynn Merritt


Jerri Lynn (Fell) Merritt, a warm-hearted wife and a devoted sister, was born to Jerome and Ardeth (Jerry and Ardy) Fell on Sept. 18, 1953. She died on Jan. 13, 2020.

Jerri was born in Charleston, South Carolina, a fact to which her life-long love of water, warm sunshine, and sandy beaches was often attributed. Raised in Minnesota, she received a good education in the Minnesota public school system, and used that education to help people by generously correcting their grammatical errors, even without being asked. She was an athletic swimmer and played tenor saxophone in marching band at Austin High School. After graduating in 1971, she continued her education at Austin State Junior College and Moorhead State University, where her academic funding was often supplemented by her ability to win in high-stakes pocket billiard games.

She had other talents, as well. While still living with her parents, Jerri always completed her Saturday morning chores before the start of American Bandstand because she loved to entertain her two younger sisters by demonstrating her sweet dancing skills during the American Bandstand Spotlight Dance. This lively math wizard was able to keep a running total of expenditures in her head while shopping, and often astounded cashiers by correctly announcing the total amount due as she unloaded her shopping cart.

After college, Jerri Lynn lived in the Calhoun-Isles neighborhood of Minneapolis and started her career in business management. She quickly advanced in business—and almost as quickly moved to warmer regions of the U.S., seldom returning to the frigid north.

Jerri had a vivid imagination, loved to party, looked great in a bikini, and always drove a convertible sports car; handsome men found her irresistible. Even in her mature adulthood, old men and dogs with great instincts followed her everywhere.

She married three times. The first two marriages were strikes, but she hit a home run with her third husband, Terry Merritt. Jerri Lynn and Terry were married at the beautiful River Walk in San Antonio, Texas in July 1993. They later moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico and eventually retired in Maricopa, Arizona.

Jerri Lynn is survived by her husband, Terry Merritt of Maricopa, Arizona, and by two exceptional sisters, Joan Wagner (Tony) of Keller, Texas; and Susan Fell Johnson (Andy) of Austin, Minnesota; five nephews, Andy, Jason, and T.J. Wagner, of Texas, and Alexander and Nicholas Johnson of Minnesota, and by great nephews and nieces, and dozens of cousins.  She was preceded in death by her parents, Jerry and Ardy Fell, and several aunts and uncles. The family will invite friends and family members to gather and remember Jerri Lynn in a celebration of life in June 2020 in Austin, Minn.

Jerri Lynn lived a remarkable life, and your memories of her should be shared. Please send stories to be shared at the June gathering to In lieu of flowers, donations of blood to the Red Cross will be appreciated. Online condolences may be sent to

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