Caroline Merryman, of Town and Country, MO, formerly of Lawrence, KS, passed away peacefully at her home on Friday, February 1, 2019 at the age of 94.
Caroline was born in Asheville, NC to Rev. Lindsay S.B. and Mary W. Hadley. Mary had travelled from her home deep in the Appalachians (in Hot Springs, where Lindsay and she headed the mission school Dorland-Bell) a few weeks early to go to Asheville to have her baby. Caroline Scranton Hadley was born there on April 16, 1924. She had for a bed a special woven basket that was handmade by a family friend and artisan, a basket used for her children and some of her grandchildren as well. And so her adventures began. The family moved to Cortland, NY for Caroline’s school years where they lived in the manse next to the church where her father was pastor. A later pastorate took the family to Puerto Rico. She attended Wellesley College, where she was president of College Government her senior year, and graduated in 1945. After college she worked with the Red Cross on Long Island, where she met a handsome young Navy man who would become her husband.
She married Richard Schumacher in 1946 and they shared 35 years together until his death in 1981. They made lifelong friends as they made homes in Erwin, TN, Bethlehem, PA, Lititz, PA, Farmington, MO, Bonne Terre, MO, and Cook Station, MO. They raised their three daughters, Karen, Joanne and Beth, enjoyed vegetable gardening, bridge, a Great Books book club, dancing, camping and canoeing on Missouri rivers, farming, and yearly excursions to the New Jersey shore to be with family and enjoy swimming in the ocean, relaxing on the beach and partaking of the bountiful sea food. Caroline also enjoyed flower gardening, sewing, refinishing furniture, reading, expanding the mind, cultural events, and attracting amazing numbers of cardinals and other favorites at her bird feeder. Throughout her life she treasured retreats to Elk Lake, a beautiful place of refreshment in the Adirondacks that she shared with her family. After Richard’s death Caroline maintained the farm where they had established a ‘growthy’ Angus herd (and housed various dogs, cats, horses, goats, sheep, chickens, ducks, and geese), adding a pool and welcoming friends and family from around the globe. As grandchildren arrived she took great joy in sharing life with them as well. One of her favorite verses, “This is the day which the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it” continued to resonate in her and emanate from her.
She was blessed to marry again and she and Jess Merryman enjoyed life together on the farm before his all-too-soon passing. Her life was enriched by her stepchildren and their children as part of her growing family. A while later she relocated to Salem, MO, where she built another pool, next to the cow pasture there, as part of her extension of hospitality to many.
In time she moved to Lawrence. During her years there she enjoyed spending time with her friends, meeting with her Bible study and prayer groups, seeking to hit a high combined score with her Scrabble buddies and getting to know people of all ages. She was assisted in welcoming many to her home by her faithful dog, Whitacre, the last of a long line of canine companions who accompanied her throughout her life. She was blessed also to live to see the birth of great-grandchildren and delighted in them all.
Her last move took her to Town and Country, MO, where she continued to reach out to others, and stay in contact with family and friends from throughout the years, all the wonderful loved ones in whom she took great joy.
She is survived by her daughters, Dr. Karen Schumacher of San Francisco, CA and St. Louis, MO, Joanne Maxwell and her husband Bennie of Salem, MO, and Beth Belcher and her husband Clay of Lawrence, KS; stepdaughter Linda Merryman of Hilo, HI; grandchildren Ben Maxwell (Kim), Joe Maxwell (Rachel), Timothy Belcher (Gwen), Anna Mannarino (Jett), and Lydia Belcher; step-grandchildren Stephanie Maxwell, Christina Booker (David), Mua Merryman, Chris Merryman, Randy Merryman (Dawn), and Jonathan Merryman (Emily); great-grandchildren Isaac, Thomas, and Elijah Belcher; Harmony and Seth Mannarino; step-great-grandchildren Grace and Hendrix Merryman, Grant, Will and Kellen Merryman, Olivia and Lily Gueck; nieces and nephews, and a host of friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, husbands, brothers Huff, Carmer and John Hadley, stepson Ray Merryman and step-grandson Neil Maxwell.
A memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on February 23rd at the Salem United Methodist Church, 1200 South Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, Missouri 63131. In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to her church or to Mercy Hospice, c/o Mercy Health Foundation, 615 South New Ballas Road, St. Louis, MO 63141.