Alta Mae (Hall) Merrill

Alta Mae (Hall) Merrill, 93, of Galesburg, passed away at 4:25 am Thursday, January 6, 2022, at Labette Health in Parsons.

Alta Mae was born December 21, 1928, in Galesburg, Kansas. The daughter of Fred and Leona (Lewis) Hall, she was the oldest of four children and resided in the Galesburg area her entire life. Alta Mae graduated from Galesburg High School and earned her teaching certificate. In 1946-1947 she taught at Maple Park School before the school consolidated in the fall of 1947. During the Korean War, she worked at the Army Ammunition Plant. She was a member of the Galesburg United Methodist Church

She married Charles Joseph Merrill on December 21, 1946, at the Hall family home. He preceded her in death on January 10, 1995.

Alta Mae was a homemaker and mother to four children whom she loved to beat at cards, Scrabble, UpWords and other board games. She loved all aspects of nature: birds, wildlife, fishing, and shared this love with her husband and family. A collector of antiques, she enjoyed finding unique bargains while also appreciating their historical significance. An avid reader, she especially loved mysteries and sharing her books with friends and neighbors. She also had an interest in community history and often recited interesting stories spanning generations of local families and farms. She resided in nursing homes at Neodesha and Saint Paul in her later years.

She is survived by four children: Charlene Thomas of Austin, TX, Allene Hensley of Erie, Jay Merrill (Doris) of Manhattan, and Joe Merrill (Donna) of Olathe; a brother, Don (Norma) Hall of Shawnee; sister, Vicky Bohn of Ooltewah, TN; sister-in-law, Lonva Hall of Bolivar, MO; her grandchildren, Chris Read (Holly), Travis Read (Karista), Jennifer Pleman (Kelly), Angela Roberts (Jim), Jessica Erickson (Scot), Jason Hensley (Tammy), and Chad Merrill; many great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. In addition to her husband and parents, she was preceded in death by her brothers, Marion Francis Hall who died as an infant and Dwain Hall, brother-in-law, Larry Bohn, and son-in-law, John Hensley.

A private celebration of life is planned for a future date; burial will be in Mount Hope Cemetery, Galesburg. In lieu of flowers, contributions to the Galesburg First United Methodist Church may be sent to PO Box 132, Galesburg, KS 66739. Online condolences may be left at


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