James  Merrill

James Merrill

Tuesday, July 21st, 1942 - Tuesday, August 25th, 2020
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James R. Merrill, 78, of Rising Star, TX passed away at Abilene Regional Hospital on August 25, 2020.

James was born in Brownwood, TX on July 21, 1942, to F.L. and Lorain Merrill. James grew up in Pioneer, TX, and helped his family on their dairy farm. He graduated from Cross Plains High in 1960.

James married Johnnie Harris on August 1, 1961. In the early years of their marriage, James worked at the Coleman Auction Barn and continued to help on the family dairy. Until one day, in the late ’60s, James noticed the shiny red and gray trucks of Halliburton. He soon hired on with Halliburton beginning a 50+ year career in the oilfields of West Texas. He worked his way from truck driver to a Field Service Supervisor with Halliburton. In 1992, he retired from Halliburton, returned to Rising Star, and began farming and raising cattle.
He could not stay away from the oilfields and was soon working for oilfield service companies in the Cisco/Eastland area. Eventually, he would co-own an oilfield service company with his sons. He retired in 2015 to continue farming and raising cattle full-time in Rising Star and Pioneer.

James and Johnnie raised six kids while following the oil booms from Coleman, TX to Rankin, TX to Sonora, TX. James always put family first and taught his kids and grandchildren to respect the value of a dollar, to give a full day’s work, if you’re going to do something give it your all, and stand behind your word.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Johnnie Merrill, son, Mike Merrill, daughter, Sondra Merrill Pope, parents, F. L. and Lorain Merrill, sister, Barbara McAnally, brother-in-law, Jimmy Turner.

James is survived by daughters, Pam Tankersley and husband, Scott of Coleman, TX, Judy Fawcett and husband, Lee of Gordon, TX, Sallie Boyett and husband, Donovon of Moran, TX, one son, John Merrill and wife, Suzanne of Fort Worth, TX. Granddaughters, Dacey Fawcett of Mingus, Texas, Kylie Fawcett of Rising Star, TX, Amber Boyett of Albany, TX. Grandsons, Younger Fawcett of Rising Star, TX, Scotty Johnson of Eastland, TX, Ty Johnson of Coleman, TX, Hayden Pope of Burkett, TX, Gabe Boyett of Brownwood, TX, Ian Tankersley of Coleman, TX, Baylor Pope of Burkett, TX, Kannan Short, Kaide Merrill, Paxton Merrill, Braydn Merrill, and Lawsin Merrill all of Snyder,TX, 10 great-grandchildren and one due in October. Brother, Harold Merrill and wife Ophelia of Rising Star, TX, sister-in-law, Sammie Turner of Azle, TX and brother-in-law, Larry McAnally of Brownwood, TX.

A visitation will be held at the Cross Plains Community Center in Cross Plains, TX on Friday, August 28, 2020 from 3-5 pm. This will be a celebration of James’ life. Please come and go at your convenience.

n lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to the Rising Star Fire Department, PO Box 547 Rising Star, Texas 76471, or a charity of your choice.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Friday, August 28th, 2020 | 3:00pm - 5:00pm
    Friday, August 28th, 2020 3:00pm - 5:00pm
    Cross Plains Community Center
    108 N Beech Street
    CROSS PLAINS, TX 76443
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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