John C. Merchant

Run for the Rose - Hero Photo - John Merchant.jpgJohn Carroll Merchant passed away on Thursday, June 19, 2003, after a courageous battle with brain cancer. His family was by his side at MD Anderson Hospital in Houston, Texas as he left to follow the Lord. He touched many people’s lives by his vivacious presence. John will be remembered for his love of life and most of all, the love he had for his family and friends.

John was born August 15, 1938 in Charles City, Iowa to (the late) Wilma and Carroll Merchant.

John is survived by his loving wife of 40 years, Jean; his children Michelle and Ron Richburg, Suzanne and Brian Nickel, Pat and Kelli Merchant, and Brian and Stacey Merchant; sister Cecelia Lutz, brothers Bruce, Michael, and James Merchant, plus numerous sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, cousins, nieces and nephews. Hardest of all for him to leave were his beloved grandchildren, Reagan, Bridget, Nicole, Kayla, Luke, Weston and William. John passed before he had a chance to meet his eighth, ninth, tenth and eleventh grandchildren - Audrey, John, Collin and Reese.

He graduated from The University of Notre Dame in 1960, with a B.A. in Marketing. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1960 – 1965. He was President/Owner of MJM Marketing of Houston, retiring in 1997 to enjoy numerous traveling adventures around the world with his wife and friends. John was very involved with his career affiliations and his children’s sporting events. He was an active member of the Catholic Church, The Rotary Club of Houston, Small Business Association, Child Builders of Houston, Notre Dame Alumni Association of Houston, Bermuda Beach Board Member, Galveston Historical Foundation, the Galveston Country Club, the Pachyderm Club, and a charter member of the Palapa Beach Social Club.

A private Mass was held for the family at John and Jean’s home prior to his funeral. Father Joe Doyle shared a wonderful story for reflection. “There was a classroom full of elementary age children who were to bring an item in for show and tell that day. Children brought in their prize possessions – everything from a prize won at the local state fair to a signed baseball. One boy, who was known not to have many things, brought in an empty box. The teacher asked quite inquisitively, “what is special about this empty box, son?” To which, the young boy responded, “don’t you know the tomb was empty too when they removed the stone?”

Father Joe Doyle presided over the Memorial Mass celebrating John’s life at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Galveston, Texas.

Our Slogan: * LIVE WELL * LOVE LIFE * LAUGH HARD* Many people associate it (and often confuse it) with the popular slogan "Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Life". Our motto is a derivative of that, taken from Michelle's eulogy of her dad. While speaking about John, she mentioned that she had seen a garden rock recently in a magazine with that (the original) slogan on it and how it reminded her of her dad. Well, Michelle mixed up the saying a little bit - but her version seemed to depict John better than the original! Anyone who knew John would admit that he LIVED WELL, he LOVED LIFE and no one could LAUGH HARDER than John! So, thank you Michelle, for the words that we live by everyday!