Marie M Merrell, the eleventh child of 12, raised on poor farms, ended up being the thing that completed James Alvin, made of him the remarkable person he was.  It was never acknowledged during his or her life in the publicity that surrounded him that she played this pivotol role, the power behind the throne, but it was true.
       Do you believe in love stories? The kind where a white knight rushes in, and sweeps a fair damsel off her feet and carries her off on his thundering steed into the gorgeous, iridescent eternal sunset? Where they live the rest of their lives in each other’s care and keeping?  If you don’t, you won’t believe the story of Jim and Marie - “Jimmarie” as I call them. Here’s a paragraph from a book I wrote 5 years ago about their courtship:

           “ Today mom is 79 and dad has been dead for 4+ years, yet she longs each day for the time when “they send her to Jim”. Those are her actual words 2 weeks ago.  She said, “Ron (a name I dislike but the only one she’ll apply to me), I want to tell you something.  It’s sort of a secret.  I’m happy. I’m happier than I’ve been for a long time.  And I’m ready for the time they send me to Jim.”  So matter-of-fact, as if it was a well-understood phenomenon that one day “they” would come to her home and tell her, “Well, Marie. It’s time to send you to Jim.  Git yer bags packed, girl.  You’re goin’ home.” She would weep if someone said those words for, weepings of pure unadulterated, unaffected joy at the prospect.”

She longed seven years after his death for Her Jim like a 16 year old, freshly for the first time, smitten with love, starry eyed, longing. Truly. I know her, I spent 2 weeks in her house recently, I’ve interviewed her over several years and it is the same thing.  Her love for Jim and his for her, was something extraordinary.  It was his death that precipitated hers.  I didn’t really believe in broken hearts. I do now. She simply came apart at the seams.
     But I am not telling you about their courtship and affection for each other just for the romance. No, the reason to explain about their commitment to each other is that it explains things that happened to dad, some of which would not have been possible without her.   The most important fact to point out is that she was his equal. Indeed, in a specific area, she told me that she knew she could exceed dad and based on the preliminary work she did in that area, it was obvious that she would have done that.
         The first 17 years of her life are told in Vol. 3 Naples, UT.

Mom's Childhood Gallery

They met on a blind date in a mining towwn Mercur. Their lightening, 6-week courtship is told in Vol. 4 Mercur is here, and in this gallery:

Mercur Courtship Gallery

and their wedding in Vol. 5 Seward 1941 is here and in this gallery:

Seward 1941 - Marriage & Homestead

     She was as intelligent as he was, as creative as he was, as determined, as capable of self-denial, and as focused as he was to the exclusion of everything else in their lives. In the final analysis, she was truly the power behind the throne, the one who took him by the ear when he was high-centered in a tough patch and got him through to the other side so that he could resume his journey.  No one knows that part which is fine I suppose, but I have a chance here to shine a bright light on her (a) contributions to him, and (b) her sacrifices on his behalf..
       Since this web site is dedicated to him, I won’t much time with her story but I am going to give you some stories to substantiate my claims about her, to give you a sense of her own capabilities. It didn’t matter what he was involved in. she was there supporting him. 


  Canvas TeePees

  Charcoal Painting

  $600 molding

  Crab Tent

  Snowmobile Ride on Timp