James Mathis Merrell

Published 3:25 pm Wednesday, November 10, 2021

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James Mathis Merrell

James Mathis Merrell, age 89 formerly of Shelby, passed from this world on Wednesday, Oct. 6 in Panama City, Panama following a long illness.

He was a 1950 graduate of Shelby County High School. During the Korean War he served in the U.S. Coast Guard as an Aviation Electronics Flight Crewman in an Air-Sea Rescue unit based in San Juan, Puerto Rico. This experience formed his love of radio communications and electronics.

Following his military service, Mr. Merrell attended N.C. State, Stanford University, and eventually the University of North Carolina where he earned a bachelor of science degree and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.

Mr. Merrell loved living and working overseas. Most of his working career was with Page Communications Engineers which gave him the opportunity to live and work in Greenland, Morocco, Spain, and Libya. While working as a Station Manager in Morocco, he met and married his wife of 59 years, Germaine, at the Rock of Gibraltar.

In 1963 he was promoted to System Manager and moved to Madrid, Spain. He was later promoted to Country Manager for all operations in Libya where he and his family moved to and lived for the next 16 years.

After retiring from Page, Mr. Merrell continued traveling the world. He was an avid reader, a constant learner, and a long time amateur radio operator. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather and role model.

Mr. Merrell is preceded in death by his parents, James Walton Merrell and Emma Davis Merrell; his sister, Pattie Merrell Brasher; his brothers, Jesse H. Merrell, Lynn D. Merrell; and his son-in-law, Ricky A. Henley.

He is survived by his wife, Germaine L. Merrell; daughter, Christine Merrell Henley; son, James L Merrell (Dawn); granddaughters, Reece Merrell and Landry Merrell; brother-in-law, Howard Brasher; sister-in-law, Sandra Merrell and a host of nephews and nieces.

The family wishes to thank the many friends for their prayers especially during his illness.