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Community mourns the loss of Mel Merrill

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Longtime LGBTQ Democratic political activist Mel Merrill has passed away.

Merrill was a former officer of the San Diego Democrats for Equality having served as a vice president and for seven years as treasurer. Merrill worked tirelessly for the community including volunteering for Lambda Archives for many years.

State Sen. Toni Atkins praised Merrill on her Facebook page posting,

“Losing Meldon Merrill is a hard one for those of us who’ve been around and part of earlier LGBTQ Democratic politics. I’m not one of the first generation of San Diego Democratic Club members — I came in 1985 and got more involved in the late ’80s early ’90s — but Mel was a stalwart.

“He was a behind-the-scenes, dedicated Democrat and LGBTQ pioneer. He wrote big checks for candidates and causes but never demanded VIP treatment. You could find Mel licking stamps (when we sent snail mail) and staffing a booth. He looked out for others, he was gracious and kind, and he was super-smart and terribly funny, with an edgy wit that surprised many when he chose to use it.

“He was part of the small circle that worked tirelessly to finally get an LGBT candidate elected — Christine Kehoe. He relished our community successes.

“I’m sad today at this loss. I extend my heart-felt sympathy to his husband, David, and his many, many close friends in our community. I didn’t see Mel much recently, but believe me, every day I’m grateful for path he helped pave for us, for his role in electing Chris Kehoe, and for his support for me over the years. Godspeed Mel.”

In a statement issued today Lambda Archives described Merrill as “a model of all that was good.”

“He was thoughtful, generous, educated and informed, and oh so deliciously wickedly funny,” the statement continued.  “He gave generously, yet strategically, of his time and treasure. Mel was rewarded in his later days with love and marriage to David Ramos. As Mel said, he “saved the best for last.” Our collective hearts grieve with you today, David, as we remember with utmost gratitude all that Mel gave to the community he loved.”

Will Rodriguez-Kennedy President, San Diego Democrats for Equality said, “Mel tirelessly volunteered, advocated, walked and donated for Democratic candidates for decades. My personal memories of Mel were of a kind and generous soul with a dry wit and a passion for justice. He will be sorely missed.”

 



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Posted by on Aug 11, 2017. Filed under Online Only, Section 4A, Top Highlights. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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