Roscoe (Rocky) Merrick lived a happy and full life that concluded with his passing during the morning of January 3, 2018. For those that knew him well, he will be remembered as a warm, witty, cantankerous friend. A tattoo on his left bicep read “Born to Raise Hell” and Rocky took that seriously. Although he loved to stir the pot, his comments were typically followed with sly smile, sparkle in his eye and a hearty laugh. Rocky never feared voicing his opinion in his own straight forward way and for the most part lived life on his own terms.
It has been said that Rocky was a Man’s Man. Rocky was a gifted athlete in high school. He was the captain of the basketball team and a running back for the football team, pitcher for the baseball team and ran track at Caldwell High School. He raced jalopies at Wilkins Speed in Caldwell for Home Dairies where he worked. He raced sprint cars in Knoxville, Newton and Oskaloosa, Iowa while living there. Rocky enjoyed hunting with friends including elk hunting in Locksa and Clearwater Wilderness Areas with his friend Dean Overman. Rocky enjoyed riding horses and was a horse owner until his retirement. Among his possessions is a rodeo belt buckle documenting his 1960s win in a Bronc Riding contest. He loved his dogs, in later years a series of very large German Shepherds. Rocky was a gun owner and gun rights were a frequent topic of conversation in recent years.
Rocky lived a private life centered around his wife and family. He was born in Salmon ID on March 7, 1929 to Wayne H. & Pearl E. Merrick. Rocky had 2 brothers and 1 sister. The Merrick family moved to Caldwell in 1940. Rocky graduated from Caldwell High School in 1947.
Rocky’s life took new direction and purpose with his marriage and lifelong devotion to Marilyn Hodgson. They were wed on December 7, 1949 in Winnemucca, Nevada. Rocky remembered Marilyn as “a beautiful girl he met in high school”. Rocky and Marilyn had three daughters. Cyndy was born in 1951, followed by Connie in 1953, and Cari in 1965. They were extremely proud of all three of their daughters. In 1952 the young family moved to Knoxville, Iowa to help with Marilyn’s family’s farm. They missed Idaho very much and in 1958 they moved back home.
Rocky worked in the trucking industry for many years. He retired from Ida-Cal Freight lines after 23 years as the Director of Operations. He became Director of Operations at Batt Trucking. He then worked for Willis Shaw Express as the Personal and Safety Manager, where he spent 8 years before retiring again. In retirement he worked for the BSU Truck Driving School as an instructor and CDL Tester.
After retiring from Willis Shaw, they sold their house and property in Nampa and moved to their cabin outside of Garden Valley ID along the middle fork of the Payette River. Rocky and Marilyn slowly renovated their “cabin” into a warm home remembered fondly by family and friends. This was the perfect setting for Rocky and Marilyn’s retirement and they flourished. They enjoyed golfing at Terrace Lakes, fishing, shooting and relaxing with family and friends. Although they supported Boise State University sports in the past, they became super fans. Rocky travelled to bowl games including the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. They even used BSU football games as an excuse to go to Hawaii several times. Rocky and his lovely wife Marilyn LIVED Boise State Football until her death in 2005. After he went to games with his daughters and grandson Kevin Severance.
Rocky experienced the greatest loss of his life with the death of his wife Marilyn in 2005. This ushered in a new phase and eventually transition back to the Treasure Valley with Rocky taking up residency in Boise. In 2012 he lost his eldest daughter to cancer.
Rocky was a lifetime member of the NRA and Elks Lodge (Caldwell Chapter #1448), 40 year member of the Boise State Bronco Athletic Association, a 40 year BSU football & basketball season ticket holder, life member of the Idaho R.C.A. and the Quarter Horse Association of America.
Rocky was preceded in death by his parents Wayne and Pearl Merrick, his beloved wife Marilyn, his older brother Bill and daughter Cyndy Fuhrman. He is survived by his brother Grant Merrick, sister Joan Ralphs, and daughters Connie Vauk and Cari Severance (Lynn). Grandchildren include Jenny Livengood (Dan), Kelley Vauk, Becky Springer, Jared Vauk (Erin), April Stearns (Josh), and Kevin Severance. Great-grandchildren include Brody Springer, Allison Sterns, Julian and Alex Vauk, and Rachel Livengood (and her daughter Isobell).
Memorial services will be held on Saturday, January 13, 2017 at 1 PM, at Bowman Funeral Parlor, 10254 W. Carlton Bay Dr., Garden City. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the NRA in Rocky’s name.
Please visit Rocky’s memorial webpage online at www.bowmanfuneral.com.