Michael Edward Merrick obituary

Michael Edward Merrick

April 28, 1946 – November 2, 2022

Michael Edward Merrick died at home of pulmonary fibrosis on November 2, 2022. He was first diagnosed in 2017 and well tolerated until a precipitous decline.

He was born April 28, 1946, in San Antonio, Texas and raised in Cottage Grove, Ore. on a small cattle ranch with five siblings. His father was a general practitioner.

Mike participated in football, FFA and gymnastics in high school. He went to Seattle University for college and the University of Oregon Health Sciences for medical school.

He moved to Soldotna in 1982, with his wife and children. The childrens’ mother, Mavauna, died in 1993.

In 1997, he married Joan Itano, who was a nurse practitioner working in a neighboring clinic. Their mutual interests were travel and books. Mike was a proud member of a book group for over 20 years, sometimes being the only man in the group.

For over 30 years, Dr. Merrick was the sole abortion provider on the Kenai Peninsula. He proudly helped start Planned Parenthood with local liberal women.

When Suboxone became available for opiate addiction he was the second doctor in the state to get an X DEA number to prescribe Suboxone for medically assisted treatment.

He retired from solo practice of medicine on March 20, 2020. He then worked as a contract physician at Redoubt Medical Clinic until the death of his colleague Ken Hahn in 2022. He stayed on and formed Redoubt Medical Group to stabilize the practice with Joan Itano Merrick NP and Mark Restad PAC and worked there until his death.

Apart from medicine his interests were raising Boer goats, hobby farming and reading a wide variety of material and genres. He supported liberal causes and progressive politics and was proud to be a founding member of the PFLAG chapter of the central peninsula.

Mike loved Alaska. He also loved boating, halibut fishing and cutting hay. One fond memory was Michael and Kurt bringing their 27-foot boat up the inside passage from Seattle to Haines in the summer of 2020. His wife said he was an Oregon farm boy with an MD degree.

He is survived by his wife Joan, his children Kurt and Natalie and his stepdaughter Destiny and her family in Seattle.

He will be greatly missed by his family, close friends and colleagues.

A memorial will be from 12-6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13, at Lone Moose Lodge Alaska, 47696 Funny River Rd., Soldotna.

Arrangements by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.