Longtime Supporter Fred Merrill, Sr., Passes Away
MANHATTAN, Kan. – K-State Athletics Hall of Fame member and longtime supporter Fred Merrill, Sr., passed away Tuesday at the age of 91.
Merrill, who was inducted into the K-State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003, and his family have been loyal contributors to both the university and athletics department for many decades.
“We are saddened by the loss of one of the all-time great K-Staters in Fred Merrill, Sr.,” Athletics Director John Currie said. “The Merrill family has been so generous to Kansas State University and K-State Athletics for many years, and Fred’s passion and love for K-State will forever be remembered.”
The family has played a key part in facility improvements and projects throughout all athletic venues at Kansas State, including the Dev Nelson Press Box at then-KSU Stadium, the indoor football facility, the Vanier Football Complex, Colbert Hills Golf Course, Frank Myers Field at Tointon Family Stadium and most recently, the West Stadium Center at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
“Fred was and will remain a dear, genuine, loyal and caring friend (as is Virginia),” said head football coach Bill Snyder. “He and his entire family have been great proponents of our program and major members of the football family. He is dearly missed, but as Fred, Jr., expressed to me: ‘he hasn’t been able to get to games of late, but now he will be able to see them all.’ Fred has done so much for so many, a great example of K-Staters caring about people.”
In addition to his involvement with K-State Athletics, the Leawood native contributed to several academic programs and colleges throughout the university, was involved in a wide variety of campus projects and also was a member of the KSU Foundation Board of Trustees. The family established numerous funds within various departments in the College of Architecture, Planning and Design, College of Human Ecology and College of Arts and Sciences.
Merrill, a 1949 graduate of K-State with a degree in milling science, was chairman and CEO of Cereal Food Processors. In 2011, Merrill was presented the Department of Grain Science and Industry Outstanding Alumni Award by President Kirk Schulz, while in 2005 he was honored with the K-State Medal of Excellence and the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the College of Agriculture.
He is survived by his wife, Virginia, and four children, including Fred Merrill, Jr., who was a football and track and field student-athlete at K-State.