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Joan Merrill, 81, of Farmington was born Dec. 17, 1935, the daughter of the late Leon and Gertrude (Merrill) Lawley and lived through decades of unprecedented advancement and turmoil. She collected tin foil for the war effort, joined “consciousness raising groups” as a ’70s feminist and eventually became an independent business owner. She was a talented writer and avid reader. Her happiest years were spent as the founder, director of The Merrill Day School and as a reading tutor a East Farms School in Farmington. She was devoted to early childhood education and helped hundreds of children enjoy learning. To her beautiful granddaughters, Kelley, Chloe and Sophia, she was Nina - their beloved grandmother who baked cookies, told funny stories and celebrated all their successes. They will forever cherish their many happy years together. Her children, Kimberly Wynne and her husband, Bob, of Connecticut and Barry Beneski and his wife, Kathleen, of Virginia will miss her deeply. Family and friends may send remembrances to 17 Tanglewood Road, Farmington, CT 06032 of 18060 Dry Mill Road, Leesburg, VA 20175. A private family celebration of Joan’s life will be held. Dunn Funeral Home, 191 West St., Bristol is in charge of arrangements. Donations to the Alzheimer’s Association of CT@Alz.org would be appreciated. www.Dunnfh.com .
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