SCARBOROUGH — Helen Wanda Murphy Merrill, 88, died peacefully Dec. 7 in the care of the Gosnell House, after a long battle with breast cancer.
She was born Sept. 5, 1925, in Westbrook, the daughter of Johnson Henry and Helen Murphy, of Prince Edward Island. She attended the Rocky Hill School and Westbrook High School.
She married Linwood Eugene Doughty on Dec. 31, 1941. After his death, she married Percy Byron Merrill on Aug. 24, 1965. A mother and homemaker, she also worked during World War II as a “Rosie the Riveter” on the Liberty ships in South Portland Shipyard. In 1945 she went to work in the cutting department of the S.D. Warren paper mill. After retiring, she held jobs as a short-order cook and baker.
Merrill loved camping, fishing and hunting muskrat along the Presumpscot River. She often helped with tanning and selling the hides. She also loved knitting, crocheting, sewing, and most of all, baking and cooking for others.
She was a former Girl Scout and Boy Scout leader, a volunteer at the Westbrook Rod and Gun Club, a member of the Cumberland County Riding Club and a SMAAA RSVP volunteer.
She was predeceased by her parents; two husbands; brother, Hank Murphy; two sisters, Mary Grady and Francis Morin; stepson, Tom Merrill; and grandson, Jason Robert.
She is survived by a sister, Nora Duclos, of Portland; two sons, Arthur Doughty, of Westbrook and Thomas Doughty, of Jackman; daughter, Linda Hoitt, of Saco; four stepdaughters, Martha Brackett and Linda Hopkins, both of Westbrook, and Jane Freeman and JoAnna Alexander, both of Hollis; 40 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
Special thanks is extended to the hospice staff and the Gosnell House in Scarborough.
A celebration of Merrill’s life will be held at the American Legion Hall, Dunn Street, Westbrook, on Friday, Dec. 13, at 5 p.m. Please bring a covered dish.
Please consider donations in her memory to Gosnell Memorial Hospice House, 11 Hunnewell Road, Scarborough, ME 04074.