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September 15, 1933 - April 6, 2023
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of a beloved husband, Dad and Papa on April 6, 2023 with family by his side.
Merrill was born in Eston, Saskatchewan and raised on the family farm in Mather, Manitoba until age 19 when his family moved to Winnipeg. Dad met Mom at a dance in Starbuck in 1957 and they have been inseparable ever since. He married his beloved Linda in 1959 and together they raised their boys on Bruce Avenue and later moved to Lions Estates. St. James was his home. Dad made friends wherever he went.
Merrill was a teacher from the age of 19 when he taught on permit in rural Manitoba in a one room school house. He attended Normal School for one year, followed by two years in Reston and Boissevain. He taught at Edmund Partridge and Garden City Collegiate in Seven Oaks School Division while attending night school to complete his degree.
Wanting to teach closer to home, Dad came to St. James Assiniboia School Division where he spent 22 years as a principal of Birchwood, Phoenix, Bedson and Linwood Schools, retiring in 1990. Always a teacher, Dad’s greatest teaching was his kindness and warmth he showed to others.
The country was special to Dad. He loved country drives in his new Ford and reminiscing of his early years. Dad loved history, trains, old cars, car washes, books and politics. Dad enjoyed trips with Mom to Arizona, Florida, Nashville, Hawaii and to Inglis, Manitoba to see the elevators.
Merrill is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Linda and their sons, David (Michele); Derek (Dawna) and his beloved granddaughters, Meagan (Peter), Alison and Ashley (Kyle). Papa was happy to see them grow up, graduate from university and begin their careers in Business and Education. He enjoyed following them in all of their endeavors. Merrill also enjoyed his visits with his stepfamilies, Kristin, Dave, Rowan, Reilly and Maygan and Robin. He is also survived by his sister Shirley and his brother Barry (Dorothy) and numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Ethel and Loyd, brother Gordon, sister Lorraine, in-laws, Floyd, Ross and Emily, and a special mother-in-law, Vivian Wrixon.
A private interment will be held in accordance with Merrill’s wishes.
Donations can be made to the Salvation Army or Winnipeg Humane Society in Merrill’s memory.
For those who wish to sign the online Guest Book please visit www.chapellawn.ca
Chapel Lawn Funeral Home
As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Apr 15, 2023
Condolences & Memories (6 entries)
Dear Linda and family, Sending you our heartfelt condolences and prayers at this difficult time. It was so nice to see you last fall. Take care. Bill and Leslie Leake - Posted by: Leslie Leake (Family friend) on: Apr 16, 2023
I was just thinking of Mr. Groff the other day and I was wondering if he was still alive. Very fond memories of him at Phoenix Elementary School where he was my grade 6 teacher. Always kind and supportive. He was a true mentor in my early years. Condolences to his family and friends. - Posted by: James McCullough (student) on: Apr 15, 2023
Many good memories of Mr. Groff over the years growing up. He was always encouraging and friendly to us young lads. Condolences to the Groff family from my family, he will be missed. - Posted by: Craig Baker (Friend) on: Apr 15, 2023
Thanks Merrill for always being such a kind and supportive individual. You were always a very fine administrator and dedicated to the cause of seeing your staff and students being successful. Condolences to all of your family - Posted by: Gary Hamilton (Colleague ) on: Apr 15, 2023
"Mr. Groff" was a class act. He was my principal and my gr. 6 math teacher, but also an important lifeline for me, as English was not my first language when I entered school so I had some difficulties, and few friends. He was kind, humble and approachable, and I have never forgotten him. It was in his math class that I first began to develop confidence, he gave kids time to think and was always respectful. Another memory I have is that he often kept his hands in his pockets while teaching, and we could always hear jingling, prompting students' debates as to whether he had keys or coins in his pockets! ".....to know that one life has breathed easier because you lived here....This is to have succeeded." (R.W. Emerson). May he know how grateful I am. I offer my sincere condolences to the family of Mr. Groff. May he rest in peace. - Posted by: Franca Colatruglio (Calista) (former student) on: Apr 15, 2023
Sorry to learn of your Dad's passing Dave. Condolences to you and your family. May your Dad rest in peace. - Posted by: Bradley Pisiak (friend of Dave's through curling) on: Apr 15, 2023
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