William Henry Merritt
Bill Merritt died on March 25 at the Riverview Palliative Care Center, Winnipeg, Manitoba at the age of 67 with his wife Luci, children Lisa and Bill Jr., and other close family members by his side.
Merritt was a 12-year resident of Ajijic and had returned to Canada some two years ago to receive additional treatment for a long and enduring battle with brain cancer. In this respect, Merritt was a 21-year survivor and regarded by his doctors as something of a medical miracle.
A gifted musician, Merritt was honored in Canada by both the City of Winnipeg and the Province of Manitoba for his work in arts and culture. He was the Business Manager of the Winnipeg Folk Festival for 17 years and a co-founder of the Winnipeg International Children’s Festival. He was a member of several prominent bands in Canada, best known for his prodigious bass guitar playing with Mood JGA JGA, and was also a wickedly funny songwriter who performed on live television and radio. During this period he was known as a mentor of many local musicians, some of whom went on to make successful careers in popular music in Canada.
In Ajijic, Merritt was best known for his work with Ronnie and the Juniors and a number of other rock oriented bands. Away from music, he was notable for his unfailing good humor and zest for life. Merritt is survived by his wife of 44 years, Luci, children Lisa and Bill, son-in-law Scott, and grand-daughters Grace and Violet, who will miss him forever.
A private celebration of his life will be held in Ajijic on October 17. For information as to location and time, close friends should call Luci Merritt at (045) 331-545-6589.
Dianne Spiehler passed away peacefully in her home in Chapala on August 12 at the age of 66.
Spiehler was born in New Orleans in 1948. She came to the Lake Chapala area in 1997, bringing with her two horses and a donkey.
Spiehler spent her time at Lakeside working with various animal rescue groups, and caring for animals in need.
A memorial to celebrate her life will be held at American Legion Post Seven in Chapala, on October 7, 3 p.m.