Profile: G. Merrill Andrus

Grant Merrill Andrus, who goes by the name of Merrill, was born on 15 July 1925 in Ucon, Bonneville County, Idaho, the son of Grant Munday Andrus, who went by the name of Grant, and May Walker Andrus. Grant, born and raised in Ucon, Idaho, is the son of Robert Andrus and Lovenia Bawden Andrus. Robert is the son of Milo Andrus and Jane Munday Andrus.

When Merrill was born, his parents were on summer vacation from employment in the schools of Ferron, Emery County, Utah, where Grant was the principal of the high school. At the end of the school year in the Spring of 1926 Grant took his family back to Ucon where he engaged in the sheep business with his father. In 1928 a brother, Clair W. Andrus was born in the family and Grant was called on a mission to the Central States Mission which included Louisiana where Grant spent most of two and a half years. While Grant was on his mission, May and here boys lived with her parents in Syracuse, David County, Utah.

When Grant returned from his mission in 1931 he became the seminary teacher in the Ucon High School and Merrill began the first grade in the Ucon Grade School. In 1934 a sister Renae was born and in 1936 another sister Roberta was born. Roberta died of pneumonia in 1938.

Merrill liked school from the very beginning and he attended eight grades in Ucon Grade School. During those 8 years three grades were with teachers who were relatives. Merrill then attended four years in Ucon High School and graduated in a class of about 32 students in 1943. During the summer months of high school Merrill worked on his father’s farm and at hired labor on neighboring farms.

In the Fall of 1943 Merrill was ordained an Elder in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in anticipation of his going into the armed service. In November 1943 Merrill was drafted into the United States Army and he was able to qualify for the aviation cadet program as a bombardier in the Army Air Corps. He graduated from that training with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant in February 1945. Further training on B-29 aircraft continued until August 1945 when World War II ended. However, it was February 1946 before he was separated from the service.

In April 1946 Merrill was in Salt Lake City, Utah in the Mission Home preparing to go to the Western States Mission. While in Salt Lake City Merrill was ordained a seventy by Levi Edgar Young. He served in Nebraska all of his mission and for over a year he was District President of the West Nebraska District. During that time the centennial of the 1847 trek of the Mormon Pioneers was observed and Merrill participated in publicizing that event in towns between Grand Island and North Platte, Nebraska which were on the trail of the Pioneers. At the end of the mission in 1948 Merrill with his friend Jay McDaniel who served in the same mission traveled to the east and visited many places including  Palmyra, New York, New York City, Washington, D. C., Kirtland, Ohio, and Nauvoo, Illinois.

In the Fall of 1948 Merrill began attending Brigham Young University with a major in chemistry. The blessing of governmental support for this education made it possible for him to complete four years at BYU and then to go on to graduate school at the University of Washington in Seattle. While in Seattle Merrill met Arlene Love whom he courted during the Summer of 1953 and they were married 11 June 1954 in the Idaho Falls Idaho temple.

Merrill completed the requirements for a Ph. D. in chemistry in early 1957 and he and Arlene moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for employment with the Rohm & Haas Company as a research chemist. Soon after arriving in Philadelphia Arlene and Merrill learned that they could adopt a baby in Seattle, so by June 1957 they had a daughter, Erica. Little did they know than that another baby was on the way and Thalia was born to Arlene 18 January 1958.

With a rapidly growing family they needed more than the one bedroom apartment where they were living, so they bought a house in Maple Shade, New Jersey, across the Delaware River from Philadelphia and they lived there for nearly 13 years. Merrill became a stake missionary and in 1960 he became the Philadelphia Stake Mission President when the Stake was organized. This Stake Mission was responsible for a substantial number of convert baptisms during the years 1960-1965.

In 1965 another daughter, Amanda Inez, was born to Arlene. That same year Merrill became a member of the Philadelphia Stake High Council and was ordained a high priest in the Church. In 1961 Merrill had been transferred to the marketing department of the Rohm & Haas Company and during the 1960s he was traveling around the United States promoting ion exchange resins, products of that company.  In 1967 Merrill was called to be a counselor President Mark B. Weed of the Philadelphia Stake. During the next 5 years there were a total of 23 units, wards and branches, never less than 19 units, to visit and administer. The area covered included parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia, about 150 miles wide and 250 miles long.

In March of 1968 another daughter, Sylvia May was born and in November of 1968 a son, David Burton, was adopted into the family. In January of 1970 Merrill left the Rohm & Haas Company and for the next 20 years he had a number of employment activities, some self employed. In the Fall of 1970 the family moved to Pitman, New Jersey and in October of 1970 another daughter, Julia Arlene, was born. As a member of the Stake Presidency, Merrill had represented the Philadelphia Stake at the ground breaking of the Washington D. C. Temple in 1969. Merrill and Arlene attended the dedication of that Temple in 1974.

In 1972 the Stake Presidency was released and Merrill was ordained a patriarch. Since then he has given 1469 patriarchal blessings. He taught early morning seminary in Seattle 1955-1956, in New Jersey in 1967-1968, institute in New Jersey in 1973-1975, and seminary again in New Jersey 1981-1983.

In 1990 Merrill obtained employment on Johnston Island in the Pacific where chemical weapons were destroyed. The schedule involved 8 weeks on the island and two weeks off to go home. While on Johnston Island Merrill was the Branch President. The Branch there had a modest Family History library with a computer and Ancestral Files. Through these resources Merrill was able to become acquainted with the Church’s accumulation of ancestral information.

By the time that employment on Johnston Island ended in 1994 Merrill and Arlene had moved their household from New Jersey to Orem, Utah and all their children had moved out of the household. In 1994 Merrill obtained employment at Parish Chemical Company in Vineyard, Utah where he is still employed.

All the time living in the East, Merrill had maintained an interest in the Milo Andrus Family Organization. Upon returning to Utah Merrill began following more closely the Family operations, developing an interest in the objectives of the descendants of Milo Andrus. In 2003 at a family reunion Merrill was elected president of the Milo Andrus Family Organization. During the past three years members of the family have pitched in with increased family history research, and increased communication among family members, including the development of this web site.


2 Responses to “Profile: G. Merrill Andrus”

  1. Edna Thompson on March 10th, 2016 12:13 am

    I received a patriarchal blessing from Brother Andrus in March 1979, in New Jersey. At the time, I lived in Carney’s Point, NJ. My blessing was number 458. I was nervous and didn’t know what to expect. I remember feeling a strong sense of peace when he laid his hands upon my head. It gave me every confidence that he was called by God as a patriarch.

  2. Lorilyn Huntting Andrus on March 18th, 2016 12:17 am

    I found your email and thought hope it’s right and act while I think about
    it. I was told that you are compiling a list of Milo’s descendants
    The email was old and not valid so I googled Merril Andrus and found on Facebook and the website.

    My husband John Andrus is the son of Lawrence Elna Andrus and Henrietta
    Lawrence Elna Andrus was a member of the LDS church until after he got the
    Aaronic priesthood.
    John joined the church as a teenager, living away from home, and found
    there are lots of Andruses.
    Milo Andrus Sr & Mary Ann Webster wife#5
    Lyman Andrus
    Lyman Albert Andrus or Bert
    Laurence Elna Andrus
    John Andrus 1 of 6 children

    I married into the family
    Lorilyn Huntting Andrus

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