Larry Dean Merrill, 71, rode his last horse on December 22, 2018. He passed away in his Chadron, Nebraska home.
He was born August 11, 1947 in Hot Springs, SD at the Seven Sisters Hospital, to Daniel and Joan (Birdsall) Merrill. Larry was raised in the Hot Springs area and graduated from Hot Springs High School in 1965. During his high school years, he worked as a Wrangler at the Blue Bell Lodge in Custer State Park. After graduation he joined the National Guard. Following his military experience, he worked for various ranchers including W.R. Boldon, Paul Hoef and Pete Witte.
On February 20, 1970 he married Kay Waltman of Chadron, NE. The couple resided and raised their three children Melanie, Sid, and Razen in the Chadron area. A man of many trades, during his work years he served as a technician at Kansas-Nebraska Gas, manager of Hubbard Mill in Chadron for several years, inspector for a fiber optic firm in CA and retired from Crow Butte Resources in Crawford, NE.
Throughout his life, Larry was a cowboy, he spent time as a ranch hand, sale barn employee, horseshoer, team roper, auctioneer and horse trainer. He bought and sold many horses and loved “swappin stock.” Larry had a way of drawing people to him (never knowing a stranger) and made many lifelong friends. In the words of one of those friends and a fellow horseman “Larry was a cowboy and knew a good horse”.
Larry is lovingly remembered and survived by his wife Kay, Chadron, NE; daughter Melanie(Boone) Herring, Veteran, WY , two sons Sid, Tuttle, OK and Razen (Kali Olson), Piedmont, SD; Mother Joan Merrill McLaughlin, Hot Springs, SD; Sister Peg (Tom) Porter, Edgemont, SD; sister in-law Gail Merrill, Buckeye, AZ; Mother in-law Betty Waltman, Chadron, NE; brother in-law Riley (Dee) Waltman, Box Elder, SD; sister in-law Christie Dickinson (Andy Andrews), Gillette, WY; sister in-law Delinda Royse, Wichita, KS; Five grandchildren; Cade and Cord Herring, Kaitlyn Thies Merrill, Sloan and Ruby Merrill; many nieces and nephews, and lifetime friend Don Fish.
Preceded in death by his father Dan, brother Don, father in-law Bus Waltman, and great niece Maggie Krejci.
In lieu of flowers a memorial has been established to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund. Donations may be sent to Chamberlain Chapel P.O. Box 970, Chadron NE 69337.