Jeannine "Jean" Merritt Profile Photo
1928 Jeannine "Jean" Merritt 2024

Jeannine "Jean" Merritt

December 17, 1928 — March 7, 2024

St. Louis, MO

Jeannine “Jean” Merritt age 95, native of Indianapolis, IN, presently St. Louis, MO, passed away peacefully at home Thursday, March 7, 2024, surrounded by family.

 Jean was preceded in death by her husband of 61 years, John “Jack” Merritt Sr., and their three children Karen, Kelly, and Kevin.   Survivors include their children John Jr. (Speedway) and Jackie (St. Louis), 12 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren.

Jean graduated high school at age 16. She attended William Woods College for two years and completed her undergraduate degree at Indiana University. Jean went on to earn a Master’s degree in education from Butler University and nearly completed doctoral-level studies at IUPUI. Jean could certainly be described as a life-long learner. She continued to consume three daily newspapers and a wide range of other reading materials well into her 95th year.

She began her career as a High School Teacher at Decatur Central and then moved on to North Central. During this time she auditioned for the first color television show in Indianapolis, Romper Room.  Once she was hired, her name was shortened to Ms. Jean as they felt the kids would have a hard time pronouncing Jeannine.

Jean continued her career as the chief copywriter at Bobs-Merrill Publishing. This is where she met the love of her life and soon-to-be husband, Jack. At this point, Jean made another significant switch in her professional career. Jean worked for 17 years in the Indiana state government. She worked her way to being the Director of the state of Indiana’s human services department. Before moving out of the Indianapolis area, Jean was named Woman of the Year by the Governor of Indiana and later awarded the Sagamore of the Wabash, Indiana’s most prestigious award, by two governors. Jean went on to hold similar leadership posts in the Illinois government for several years.

Once ‘seemingly’ retired, she and Jack moved to Marco Island. Although Jean loved traveling and spending time with family and friends, she grew a bit restless. At the age of 67, she began a 12-year career as the head of emergency preparedness for Collier County. As you may have already gathered, Jean was a woman of tremendous intelligence, ability, and energy. She was able to accomplish much professionally while still raising a family that included five children.

 All who knew her agree she will be greatly missed. Private services will be held at a later time. Memorial contributions may be donated to any of her favorite charities including Human Society, Wounded Warriors, and Animal Protective Association.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Flanner Buchanan-Washington Park North

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