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Obituary: Lewis J. Merrim

Dec. 19, 1922- June 12, 2011

Photojournalist and video producer, sergeant in WWII First Special Services Force, Lewis J. Merrim, a noted photojournalist whose work appeared in publications such as The New York Times, Colliers, Life and Look magazines, died peacefully at home on June 12, 2011 in La Jolla, CA. He was 88.  He lived in Port Washington for 30 years.

A founding member of the American Society of Magazine Photographers, Mr. Merrim was also president of M&R Productions in New York, a producer of commercials and educational films for corporate clients. After a successful career in photography, Mr. Merrim moved to La Jolla in 1985. There he became an active volunteer in the media department of the Veterans Administration Medical Center.

During WWII, Mr. Merrim served as a sergeant and photographer in the First Special Service Force of the U.S. Army, a Canadian-American unit known as The Devil’s Brigade. He saw combat in Italy, France, Germany and Norway. Mr. Merrim received the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Air Medal, and decorations from the French, Italian and Norwegian governments.

Starting as an apprentice to a commercial studio in New York before the war, Mr. Merrim went on to become a leading photojournalist, covering assignments in many parts of the world. Some of his photographs are included in the Metropolitan Museum of Art Photography in the Fine Arts permanent collection. The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, CA, also has archives of photography by Mr. Merrim.

Born in Brooklyn, Mr. Merrim attended Brooklyn College and studied at the University of Grenoble in France. His wife of 53 years, Louise Meyerowitz Merrim, was a celebrated artist (deceased 2005). He is survived by daughter, Stephanie Merrim, a professor at Brown University in Providence, RI. His late daughter, Andrea Merrim Goff, was an executive producer for Industrial Light and Magic and the mother of his two grandchildren, Alexander and Matthew Goff, who reside with their father, Brent Goff, and their adoptive mother, Sara Gaston Huey, of San Rafael, CA.

Over the past two decades, Mr. Merrim was a dedicated supporter of Casa de la Esperanza, an orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico. Donations in his honor may be sent to Spirit of Casa, PO Box 469, La Jolla, CA 92038.

A memorial service for Lewis J. Merrim will take place at 11 a.m. on July 11 at the San Diego Botanic Gardens, 230 Quail Gardens Dr., Encinitas, CA.