It is with heavy heart and deep sorrow that the family of Marilyn Jean Merritt (Libby) announces the death of their dear and immensely loved mother, wife, sister, and Nani. Marilyn was born on November 6, 1958 in Lynn, Massachusetts to Charles and Alice Libby of Sweetser Terrace. She grew up in the Wyoma Square part of Lynn and on Flax Pond where she water skied and swam at Sandy Point. Upon graduation from Lynn English High School, Marilyn enlisted in the U.S. Army where she was stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia and later at Fort Polk, Louisiana. Studying in the Signal Corp she made her way overseas to serve in Germany during the Cold War years, stationed in Wurzburg, Germany. Marilyn reflected with fondness on those years, recalling the quaint village of Wurtzberg and its many shops she would wander into. While in the service she met her first husband, Sonny King, and though not married long, she would always say what a great smile and charming personality he had. Together they had a daughter, Sheila Devereaux (King).
After serving her country, Marilyn found her way back home to Lynn and her family home. In technical school, she studied what was then the cutting edge field of computer language. Marilyn met her second husband, Bruce Merritt, also a Lynn native, who ignited her passion for woodworking and home repair at which she became quite adept. During twelve years of marriage, Marilyn and Bruce raised three beautiful daughters together, Renae Merritt of Hendersonville, N.C, Elizabeth LaPenna (Merritt) of Waxhaw, N.C., and Lauren Jean Merritt of Swampscott, Massachusetts. Her daughters were, and continue to be, the absolute loves of Marilyn’s life and the highlight of her life’s accomplishments. She and Bruce moved north to Littleton, New Hampshire where her children grew up and attended Littleton Public Schools. She and Bruce remained close and the best of friends in the coming years.
In 1992 Marilyn met Jeffrey A. Richards of Littleton, N.H who became a wonderful friend to her girls, and later, officially their stepfather. On their twenty-first anniversary together, Marilyn and Jeff married at Jump-Off-Rock in Hendersonville, N.C., the town they have called home for the past fifteen years after Marilyn fell in love with its four seasons and mountains and Hendersonville’s small town main street. Together, Marilyn and Jeff enjoyed traveling through the South, particularly New Orleans and St. Augustine. They also shared a love for storytelling and enjoyed reading fantasy and adventure novels together. Marilyn was Jeff’s greatest love whom he referred to as
Hendersonville became the epicenter of Marilyn’s once again growing family, beginning with her first granddaughter, Charlotte Merritt, of whom she was so proud and adored completely. Marilyn loved each of her grandchildren, who never ceased to make her beam with happiness and pride: Sydney Devereaux, Zoe Devereaux, Genevieve Bingham, Evelynn LaPenna, Dominic LaPenna, Mosey Zaccardi, and Ursa “Happy Baby” Merritt. Marilyn’s talent and love of art was passed on to each of them. With her sketchbooks and paintings throughout the home, and her love for her entire family, she built and left behind long lasting memories that will endure forever and always in her family’s hearts. Her grandchildren loved going to “Nani’s House” where swimming and hiking, celebrating birthdays and holidays, became her absolute joy in life.
Marilyn leaves behind her dear, dear sister Diane Mitchell with her husband Wayne of Virginia, her little brother Stephen and wife Patty Libby of Lynn, Massachusetts, and oldest brother Charles Libby with wife Kathy also of Virginia, and many nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her older brother David Libby, also of Lynn Massachusetts. Marilyn also leaves behind her step-daughter, Calie Roberts (Richards), and her son-in-laws who she held dear and close to her heart: Mr. Bryan Devereaux of Groton, Massachusetts, Mr. Thomas Bingham of Hendersonville, N.C., Mr. Richard LaPenna of Waxhaw, N.C., Mr. Kurtis Coryell of Hendersonville, N.C., and Mr. Guy Zaccardi of Swampscott, Massachusetts.
Marilyn was and is a woman with a deep sense of spirituality and connection to natural landscapes. She would often sense and find those connections in different areas
where she lived, particularly in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Not being a person of any one faith, Marilyn appreciated all faiths and spiritualities. Marilyn’s wish
for cremation with celebrations of her life will be conducted through her family at places where she felt the most connected and grounded, including Red Rock in Lynn,
Massachusetts where she will join her parents Charlie and Alice and brother David on the waves of the Atlantic.
Cards of sympathy can be sent to:
Jeffrey Richards & Marilyn Merritt
510 Lake Drive
Hendersonville, N.C. 28739