Merrill Abbott Danforth, 94 of Gardiner, died Saturday, May 22, 2021 at home following a brief illness. Merrill was born on February 1, 1927 to Merrill Pike and Violet Mae (Abbott) Danforth.
He graduated from Gardiner High School in 1944. Following graduation, he attended Kennebec School of Commerce. He then began his career with the State of Maine, Department of Health and Welfare. He later worked at the Augusta State Hospital as a Reimbursement Agent. He retired in 1985 following thirty-seven and a half years of service.
In June 1957, he married Marion Brown of Randolph. During their 35 years of marriage, Merrill and Marion raised two daughters, enjoyed the love of their extended family, traveled with friends, and served their church in countless ways.
Merrill served his community in various roles. In 1955 he was elected to the Gardiner City Council. In 1979 he was elected to the MSAD 11 School Board where he served for 20 years.
Merrill was also involved in several community organizations. At age 14, he joined the Grange where he participated at the local, state and federal levels. He joined the Gardiner Lions Club in 1957. As a Lion, he served many positions on the club level and was District Governor from 1972-1973 for District 41-I. Merrill was also a member of the Hermon Masonic Lodge # 32, Scottish Rite and York Rite bodies. He was an active member of the Randolph United Methodist Church and was a lay delegate to the general and jurisdictional conferences. Following his retirement from the State, he served six years as United Methodist Conference Treasurer. Work, civic responsibility and family were Merrill’s focus and they all enriched and gave meaning to his long life.
Merrill was predeceased by his parents, his wife Marion (in 1992), and by his four siblings: Lois Nickel, Richard M. Danforth and wife Jacqueline, Marjorie Mooers Dill and husband Lincoln, and Charles Goodspeed and wife Maxine.
He is survived by his two daughters, Martha Allen and husband Bill of Pittston and Margaret Naas and husband Martin of Gardiner; four granddaughters, Kristin Marks of Athens, GA, Kayla Marks of Boston, MA, Rebecca Duca and husband Kyle of Gardiner, and Emily Allen of Pittston; two great granddaughters, Rosemary and Lillianna Duca; as well as several nephews and nieces.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Julia McDonald, MaineGeneral Hospice, Lowell Giles and Melanie Marston for the thoughtful care they provided to Merrill so he could remain in the comfort of his home.
A memorial service will be held at the Randolph United Methodist Church on June 7, 2021 at 3 p.m.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Plummer Funeral Home, 16 Pleasant St., Augusta, ME.
Donations in Merrill’s memory can be made to Camp Mechuwana, PO Box 277, Winthrop, ME 04364 or MaineGeneral Hospice, PO Box 828, Waterville, ME 04903.