Born in the Great Depression to a barber and schoolteacher, she grew up in the small town of Waconia, Minnesota. She worked her way through high school and was able to attend college at the University of Minnesota. Upon graduation, she became a teacher and her life-long journey of serving others began. She was a woman who was always giving to, caring for, and investing in the lives of her students.
The greatest lessons she taught her students and, ultimately so many others she has touched in her life, wasn’t in courses on reading, writing, and arithmetic, but rather in love. And she didn’t lecture about love, she lived it.
Her life has been all about love, a love that is all about giving selflessly and sacrificially to others. This woman of noble character is all about giving to others without expecting anything in return and giving to others no matter what it costs her personally.
She not only invested in her students’ lives, but then after marriage in her early 20s and moving to Sarasota, Florida, she invested everything she had in the lives of her three boys, Bill, Mark, and Bob and then in her daughters-in-law and eight grandchildren. She has loved them well.
Her love could not be contained. It was also poured out as she served children and families through her church and in leadership positions for other organizations, such as the YMCA locally and internationally.
What has really amazed me about her love is that it is nondiscriminatory. She has lavished it upon just about every person whose life she’s touched. Her love has never been reserved for those who would award or applaud her. Her love has not been reserved for those who are like her, agree with or can do something for her. It is freely given to all. It is given to the young and old, white collar and blue collar, the have and have-nots, friends and strangers. I don’t recall many times when I’ve been with her that she is not saying a kind word to the salesperson she just met at store, patiently helping an elderly person up the stairs or counseling a young married woman through her struggles.
Who is this noble woman? She’s my mom. Her name? LaRue Merrill.
For this noble woman, her greatest legacy will not be the material things she leaves behind, those will fade away. Her greatest legacy will be the love she leaves behind. That’s the legacy that will endure in the lives of our family and in the thousands of individual lives she’s touched.
So I am honored to nominate my mom for the She is Noble award.
Please nominate a Noble Woman in your life and be sure to put “iMOM” in the referral code.