Nina M. Merrill

Nina M. Merrill

CHANDLER — Nina M. Merrill, 87, passed away Thursday, June 11, 2020, at Deaconess Gateway Hospital in Newburgh, IN.

Nina was born on Aug. 23, 1932, the daughter of Charles and Gladys Risley of Yankeetown, IN.

She was a member of South Friendship Baptist Church in Boonville, IN. She worked a variety of retail and customer service jobs in Boonville and Princeton, IN. until she retired in 1992.

Nina was an avid traveler, always up for an adventure, and loved taking trips to visit friends and family. Whether it was across the ocean to England, across the U.S. to Oregon, or to many nearby midwestern and southern states, she was always looking forward to the next one. She was always going with family to visit other family members or to see historical places, homes, landmarks, etc., or just enjoying long drives around the countryside to shop, see nature, and have a great time! Nina loved to listen to country, bluegrass, and gospel music and thoroughly enjoyed frequent get-aways with her daughters and grandkids to bluegrass concerts or to see places like Graceland and Loretta Lynn’s home. She also loved to eat and was up for any occasion where we could all gather and have old favorites or try something new. At her insistence, ice cream would usually follow even if she couldn’t finish all of it.

There wasn’t a grandchild who didn’t want to be with Granny (or “Ganny”)! She would always sing songs, rhymes, tell stories, and give her famous foot rubs to them to help get them to sleep. Her abilities to listen and give advice to everyone young and old will be sorely missed by our family. Nina had the kindest soul and always was surrounded by love with friends and family, talking, and telling stories; laughing until we cried.

Her spirit and friendliness made her a favorite for staff workers at Hamilton Pointe, where she was a resident over the last 2 years. She always looked forward to getting her hair done and really lit up on those days. Nurses and others always stopped by and sat and talked with her at length about current events or any topic when immediate family weren’t there. She really appreciated that interaction.

Nina is survived by three daughters, Marlene Finn and husband, Merle, of Albion, IL, Jackie Miller and husband, Bob, of Chandler, IN, Linda Riggle and fiancé, Brad Malin, of Evansville, IN; three sons, Robert Merrill and wife, Kathie, of Princeton, IN, Wayne Merrill and wife, Nancy, of Toledo, OH, and Mark Merrill and wife, Alice, of Evansville, IN; 18 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren, and 4 great-great grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert D. Merrill; granddaughters, Tabitha Finn, Kaleigh Merrill; great-granddaughter, Tatum Crabtree; seven sisters, Helen Geppner, Hallie Strange, Elsie Phillips, Frances Strange, Edna Gossnar, Alice Belle Goodwin, Jane Greer; and brother, Charles Risley.

Nina (mom) was a friend, confidant, sidekick, travel companion, teacher, study-buddy, backseat driver, fortune teller, debater, comedian, cook, book reader, TV watcher, chocolate eater, always-up-for-anything lover of life! She was a loving wife, sister, mother, and grandmother who loved her family and friends and was so very much loved by all of them.

Funeral services for friends and family will be from noon until 3 p.m. Friday, June 19, at Koehler Funeral Home in Boonville, IN. with a private service to follow at 3 p.m. There will be availability to see the service streaming online. If interested, please contact Koehler’s. Per Nina’s wishes, there will not be a burial service at Bates Cemetery.

Memorial contributions in memory of Nina may be made to the American Heart Association. Condolences and any special remembrances can be shared online at

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