Food Culinary 15


March 31, 1938 ~ November 1, 2020 (age 82)


Audrey Joan Merrill left us on November 1, 2020 at her current home in the Memory Villa at Bishop Place, Pullman, WA. Her beautiful smile, kindness, and spunk will be missed by everyone that knew her. We would like to thank all the caregivers at Bishop Place and Regency Senior Living for the wonderful care receive over the last years of her life.

She was born March 31, 1938 to Jones McCown and Audrey (Martin) McCown in Potlatch, Idaho. She was raised on the family farm beside Freeze cemetery.  She attended school at Potlatch where she made many lifelong friends.

She married W. Max Merrill at Coeur D Alene Idaho June 18, 1955. They made their home outside Potlatch until 1967 when they moved to Garfield WA. They made their home in Garfield for 44 years.

Joan worked several part time jobs in early in their marriage while raising her children. She became a bus driver for Garfield School in the early 1970’s and enjoyed driving the everyday routes and to many sporting events until 1979.  She was loved by the kids on her route but known for having a firm way of handling chaos on her bus. She worked for two summers for the Washington State Department of Transportation taking care of the rest area outside Steptoe WA before she was hired on to the road crew fulltime. She was very proud to have been the first female to work on the WSDOT road crews in Eastern Washington. Paving the way for hard working women to follow. She later moved to a position in the office where she could work 8-5 hours without dealing with the extreme weather. She retired from WSDOT in 2000.

She loved cooking big meals, knitting, sewing, quilting, and caring for others. Many grandkids have loved the blankets that she made for them, picture sweaters, and the home made rolls and cinnamon rolls she was famous for making. You never left her house without being full and taking leftovers if you were fast enough to get them. She loved her grandchildren and kids in general.

She is survived by her husband of 65 years, W. Max Merrill, 3 sons, Cactus Merrill of Harper, OR, Jack Merrill (Tena) of Potlatch, ID, and Joe Merrill (Angela)of Palouse, one favorite daughter, Treva Beebe (Pete) of Potlatch, one favorite sister Holly Miles, Cheney WA, 9 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

A service will be held at Freeze Cemetery Church on November 11, 2020 at 1:00 pm for family and friends that feel comfortable attending.

A memorial picnic will be held July 4, 2021 at Merrill’s pond. A tradition Joan loved to host dating back more than 40 years. There was always enough food and fun where family, friends, and soon to be friends were always welcome.

Memorial in Joan’s name can be made to the Freeze Cemetery Fund, c/o Crete Davis, 1225 Duffield Flat RD, Potlatch, ID 83855.

Kramer Funeral Home of Palouse, Washington is caring for the family.  On line condolences may be left at


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of A. JOAN (McCOWN) MERRILL, please visit our floral store.


Memorial Service
November 11, 2020

1:00 PM
Freeze Church & Cemetery
W. Freeze Road
Potlatch, ID 83855


Freeze Cemetery
% Crete Davis 1225 Duffield Flat Rd, Potlatch ID 83855

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