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Merwin Darwin Grant

05/07/1944 - 10/11/2018
Service Date: 10/19/2018
Service Time: 11:00 AM
Service Location: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - Estate Groves Ward, 2549 North 32nd Street, Mesa, Arizona 85213
Interment: City of Mesa Cemetery, 1212 North Center Street, Mesa, Arizona 85201

Merwin Darwin Grant was born in Safford, Arizona on May 7, 1944, to Erma Whiting and Darwin D. Grant. Kings and princes have not been as adored as Merwin was by his doting parents and loving siblings, who are: Rita (Gary Lyon), Ronald (Keiko), Howard (the late Irene), and Robert (Jo).

As a young man, Merwin enjoyed every aspect of life in his hometown of St. Johns, AZ, which he fondly referred to as “city of the West; center of action.” Though St. Johns was a small town of 1,200 people, in Merwin’s eyes it was as significant and marvelous as any great metropolis.

In high school, he led the basketball and football teams, played tuba in the band, sang in the choir, and served as both student body president and valedictorian for his graduating class. The break-neck pace at which Merwin lived life did not slow when he attended Brigham Young University. There he was an economics major, freshman class president, the university’s social vice president, and one of the original members of the Young Ambassadors performing group. Never one to shun the spotlight, it should come as no surprise that Merwin’s favorite college memory was performing on The Ed Sullivan Show.

Merwin served as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Mexico City, Mexico mission. He loved the people and language with a vigor that did not diminish throughout his life. Anytime the opportunity to speak Spanish presented itself, Merwin took it with delight.

Merwin wisely fell in love with Charlotte Richey, whose delicate and cautious nature perfectly tempered this gregarious cowboy. Together they were sealed in the Mesa, Arizona Temple for eternity. Their almost 50-year journey through life together was never monotonous. As Charlotte and their children can attest, proximity to Merwin made a mundane existence impossible.

Merwin took the Law School Admissions Test on a whim one Saturday morning, and a moment’s decision became a life’s passion. He attended law school at Duke University, and, after Charlotte and his children, Merwin’s next greatest love was his profession. The adage “those who love their jobs never truly work a day in their life” perfectly described Merwin. His yellow legal pad was always in hand; his mind was always engaged on his client’s behalf. In fact, he did not stop practicing until his body compelled him to do so, and, even then, he could not help but talk about the law every chance he got.

His most cherished volunteer opportunities were those that benefitted children. He was a favorite Cub Scout leader, soccer coach, and Primary teacher. No one could build a faster pinewood derby car, find creative alternatives to rained-out soccer practices, or wrangle a group of irreverent Mormon kids better than Merwin. His charm was undeniable, even to the very youngest of his acquaintances.

Though Merwin survived as many close calls as an action movie hero—from a car flipped underwater to an airplane engulfed in flames—he was not able to escape the grasp of Lewy Body dementia, which took him from his family and friends far too soon.

For the incomparable care he received during his final years, we sincerely thank Lizz Soto, Angela Mojica, Clara Aquiler, Patty Jones, the staff at Downing House, and his ever-devoted Charlotte, without whom Merwin simply could not have endured the extraordinary journey that was his to make.

A visitation will be held from 6:00 to 8:00pm on Thursday, October 18, 2018 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2549 North 32nd Street, Mesa, Arizona 85213. Funeral services will be held on Friday, October 19, 2018 at 11:00am at the same location, with another visitation held from 10:00 to 11:00am on the same day. He will be interred in the City of Mesa Cemetery, 1212 North Center Street, Mesa, Arizona 85201.


  • Charlotte—I am so sorry to hear about Merwin, he was truly one of the nicest guys I ever met. I regret we have lost contact over the years but always will consider you as a dear friend. Call when you can,my cell; 909 717-6202-I always miss you—Earl

  • I wish to know where his grave will be so that I can pay my final respects.

  • Robert & Shauna Valentine

    We are sad about Merwin’s death but will always treasure our memories from the time we spent with you at Duke in the 1970s. Bob and Shauna

  • Julie Platt Gardner

    Dear Charlotte, I have prayed for you all week knowing that you have lost the love of your life for a time. There will be a huge hole in your life now without Merwin. Whenever I think of him I remember that he always had a smile on his face. I also have fun memories of BYU and Park Plaza. Remember “the voice of Christmas past” on the phone unexpectedly one night and how we laughed? We had some good times. I will write you later, my dear, when things settle down for you. Can this many years have passed? Julie

  • Annette Eliason

    Merwin was a favorite cousin of mine from years ago. Although we lost contact for a number of years, it was always fun to remember the good times we had and the blessings of heritage that we shared. I am sure he will be missed. Our love is with you, Charlotte, and with your family.

  • Marena Bennett Hales

    Dear Charlotte, I just heard of Merwin’s Passing. I want to extend my sympathies for your loss and admiration for your grace in dealing with the adversities. Sending my love…Marena

  • I deeply enjoyed my time and experiences that I shared with Merwin. This is from our time in Tokyo, Japan.

  • My deepest regrets to find out this out now since it’s been over two years. So sorry for your loss. He was a good man. He is missed dearly. Sincerely Jane

  • Ken McIntyre Sr

    The year was about 1981. Merwin & Charlotte purchased a home from a partner and I on Camelback Mountain. He was an extremely intelligent and honest person. I have shared his story with many of my friends thru the years. Little did he know he was a mentor in my life. Sad to hear of his passing. Respectfully Ken McIntyre

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