Due to several health issues, Joanie and Bill Merriman can no longer travel in their retirement years, with Bill approaching the age of 90.
“Bill and I decided to make good use of our time,” said Joanie after she delivered a 2 x 3 foot puzzle to St. Regis School Superintendent Joe Steele.
The 160 piece puzzle depicts the 45 U.S. presidents and is glued to a board and framed. Steele said it will hang in the school’s government classroom and will replace an outdated poster of the U.S. presidents. After the presentation on June 4, the couple had lunch with the students.
“Our life is about giving now,” said Joanie. The couple also gave the President puzzle to Superior School and will present one to Alberton School this week. They also gave one to the Mineral County Library. The couple also donates puzzle pictures of animals to local handicapped children. Even though she suffers from neuropathy which affects her hands, Joanie can put a 160 piece puzzle together in about an hour and a 300 piece puzzle in two and a half hours.
In addition to puzzles, she also makes fleece blankets for cancer patients, animal pillows for children in need and every four days she bakes Friendship Bread. Bread which is distributed around the community to welcoming hands.
“It is our honor and pleasure to do what we do,” Joanie said.
However, she couldn’t do all of this without the loving support of her husband, who was recently honored at an Armed Forces Day celebration in Superior for his service during World War II. During the war he traveled to France, and Germany and worked as a weather communications specialist.