Lorwen Lois Williams Merriman passed away in Houston, Texas, on September 17, 2020. She was dearly loved by friends, family, and especially by her husband of 77 years, George Jefferson Merriman, Jr.
Lorwen was born on August 10, 1916, in Jerome, Arizona, where her father was the engineer for the United Verde Copper Mine. When she was four years old, she moved with her parents to La Oroya in the Peruvian Andes (12,500 feet above Lima), where her father was the engineer for Cerro De Pasco. Her young life was rather isolated, spent exploring the hills with other children in the camp, attending the one room schoolhouse and learning the language and customs of Peru. After her Mother passed away, Lorwen went to live with her Aunt Sophie and Uncle Ed Williams in Fort Worth, Texas where she attended Paschal High School.
In 1933, Lorwen attended the University of Texas in Austin where she pledged Pi Beta Phi Sorority and made many lifelong friends. She also met her soulmate and future husband in front of the Chemistry Building at UT. In 1937, after graduation, she and Jeff married on her birthday in the garden of her aunt and uncle’s home in Fort Worth. They spent the rest of their lives devoted to each other.
After medical school and four years in the US Army Airforce, Jeff travelled with Lorwen to Houston where he took refresher courses at Baylor College of Medicine. They ended up remaining in Houston permanently. Lorwen worked with Jeff at his medical clinic and participated in many community activities, namely---Houston Garden Club, Pi Beta Phi Alumnae Club, Harris County Medical Auxiliary, PTO, Texas Children’s Library and American Festival for the Arts. She and Jeff also became dedicated members and supporters of St. James Episcopal Church and later St. Thomas Episcopal Church and School.
Throughout her life, Lorwen served others with a heart filled with joy, gratitude and generosity. “You can never have enough HAPPY” became her motto! She believed in the innate goodness of people and was truly an inspiration to all who knew her.
Lorwen was preceded in death by her parents Edith Malpuss Williams and Charles Swayze Williams, her brother Charles, her son George J. Merriman, III, her granddaughter Austin Bryant and her cousin Paxton Williams. She is survived by her daughters Rachel and husband Bud Frazier, MD, and Marian and husband Bruce Bryant. Her grandchildren are Todd Frazier and wife Jennifer, Allison Balser and husband Eli, Eli Merriman, Isaac Merriman and wife Hikaru, Dylan Bryant and Katherine Bryant.
She has 7 great grandchildren: Mac and Kenzie Frazier, Savanna and Joshua Merriman, Abraham and Ruth Rose Balser and Lia Merriman.
Extended family members include Tim Matthews, Carroll Matthews and son Miller, Helen Matthews, Connie and Peter Nagle, Mary Linda Williams, Hallie and David Spence and Winfield and Monica Williams.
The family wishes to express grateful appreciation to Lorwen’s care team for their devotion and loving care: Dr. John Paulsel, Dr. Sarah Selleck, Lillian Davis, Benita Barboza, Gladis Lopez, Joni Milton, Helen Rector, Shemica Perrino, Jamie Williams, Ronnie Milton, Pam Jones, La Porsha Green, Houston Hospice nurse Wanda McGregor and Dan Danford.
There will be a graveside service at Seaside Memorial Park in Corpus Christi, Texas, where Lorwen will be buried next to Jeff. A Celebration of Life honoring her 104 years is planned for a later date in Houston, Texas.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to American Festival for the Arts (earmarked for scholarships), 1718 A Lubbock St. Houston, Texas 77007 or Houston Pi Beta Phi Foundation (earmarked for literacy programs), P.O. Box 19251 Houston, Texas 77224-9251.