Cover photo for Jean L. Merrill's Obituary
Jean L. Merrill Profile Photo

Jean L. Merrill

Jean passed away Thursday, March 4, 2021 at her home in Otsego.

She was born March 5, 1928 in Comstock, the daughter of Wilber and Helen (Bland) Betz. For more than 18 years Jean owned and operated an adult foster care out of her home. In her free time she enjoyed crafting, knitting, crocheting and spending time with her family and many friends at Baraga Manor. She was a member of Friendship Wesleyan Church in Plainwell.

Surviving are her children, Wayne Gilger of Marshall, Diane (Jim) Collins of Otsego and Bobbie (Jim) Forge of Midland; grandchildren, Dean, April, Alan, Sara, Tim and Anita; several great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren; her siblings, Henry Betz of Colorado and Carl Betz of Comstock along with several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

Friends may visit with Jean’s family starting at 10:00 A.M., Monday, March 8, 2021 at the Friendship Wesleyan Church in Plainwell until the time of the funeral service at 12:00 P.M., with Pastor Kevin Smith officiating.

Burial will take place at Mountain Home Cemetery in Otsego.

Contributions in memory of Jean may be made to

Christian Neighbors


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Condolence Messages

Jeanne Bay

March 5, 2021 at 6:27 am

Jean was a delight. Her laugh and smile lite up the room. She shared knitting patterns with me at Baraga and I still use them and think of her. She will be greatly missed. Jeanne Bay


Jeanne Lewis

March 5, 2021 at 9:47 am

Loved Aunt Jean. I will always remember her peanut brittle and of course her laugh! In loving remembrance, Kevin and Jeanne Lewis!


Pat Davis

March 7, 2021 at 5:02 am

What I remember the most about Jean was her wonderful laughter. You couldn’t help but join in and laugh right along with her. I use to play Bunco with Jean at Baraga Manor and we would make so much noise that the card players would get annoyed with us; but we had fun. Jean will be missed.

Pat Davis



March 7, 2021 at 8:35 pm

I loved Aunt Jean. She would always light up a room with her laughter. I would go to your house and sit with the ladies and Bobbie while you and Uncle Bob would go bowling. You wibe missed dearly. Debbie Merrill


Debbie toornman

March 8, 2021 at 9:31 pm

I grew up near her. I took care of her grandchildren when they came over. I also used to “ladysit” at her house when she had plans. She cared for her friends who lived at her house and we always worked on a puzzle or watched some favorite family shows on TV or sat and reminisced about the good old days. They remembered further back than I could.

It was a pleasant time. She will be missed.


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