Obituaries

Louise Merrim died on May 6, 2007 in La Jolla, CA. She was 82 years old. Louise was well known as a juried super-realist painter. She was an equity actress, with over 40 years playing parts that won her recognition in both New York and San Diego. She was a poet.

Louise and Lewis J. Merrim married in 1948. They lived in Port Washington and raise two daughters, Andrea Goff (deceased) and Stephanie. Lew and Louise moved to La Jolla in 1985. They are blessed with two wonderful grandsons, Alexander and Matthew Goff. Louise was a native New Yorker. She was the daughter of Leo and Jeanette Harris Meyerowitz. She is survived by her sister Leonore (Florida). Her oldest sister, Claire, passed away in 2006.

Louise received her BFA from Pratt Institute in 1947 and a master of fine arts degree from Columbia University in 1951. She successfully pursued a 17-year career teaching art in New York City (1947-1951) and Port Washington (1970-1983).

Managing a dual career in art and acting kept Louise on her toes. She once admitted that, when auditioning and rehearsing for plays, she wouldn't mention her artistic talent. She didn't want to end up painting scenery. Louise won a host of awards in group art shows. Her work was favorably reviewed by The New York Times and Newsday. Once a theater buddy excitedly called Louise to tell her about a review of a woman in the area with Louise's name...but this woman was a painter.

Louise was an undisputed master of the super-realist painting style. Her subject focus was the dramatic impact of light on still-life settings. Her command of the super-realist technique also led to many commissions for portraits. The Medal of Honor from the National Association of Women Artists and a Gold Award from the San Diego Museum of Art are just two examples of awards conferred on Louise's works. Her paintings are included in the permanent collection of the San Diego Museum of Art. She was also president of the Artists Guild of the San Diego Art Museum, a reflection of her talent and commitment to art. Louise's had many one-woman shows and exhibits of her works and received many awards.

Most recently, Louise was active in the La Jolla Stage Company and Lamplighters Productions. She previously performed in New York. She described herself as a character actress. A sampling of critical reviews show the power of Louise's performance. "Merrim drives the story as a crusty old grandma" (LA Times/What's Wrong with This Picture?); "Louise floats with delicious spaciness as winsome Aunt Ruth" (LA Times/Marvin's Room); "Merrim as the dotty old money bags is charming" (San Diego Union/Musical Comedy Murders of 1940); "Merrim gives a comical performance as Lady Lucy, making the audience wonder what she is going to come up with next" (Star News/The Hollow). Louise won the ACT Award for Drama for her role as the Dowager Empress in the San Diego Lamplighter's production of Anastasia. Other productions include: Anything Goes, Fiddler on the Roof, The Music Man, The Foreigner and Spoon River Anthology.

Louise insisted that a remembrance of her life not take more than a page. Nonetheless, it would be a serious omission not make mention of Louise's superb cooking, her heartwarming hospitality, her ability to find the humor in even the most difficult situations and her devotion to her husband and family.

Helping the Casa de la Esperanza Orphanage in Mexico has been a personal commitment for Lew and Louise since moving to southern California. Contributions in Louise's name may be made to Spirit of Casa, Inc., PO Box 469, La Jolla, CA 92038.


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