Howard Owen Merriman was born May13,1933 in Columbus, Ohio. He spent his early life on the Hilltop, first residing on Sutton Avenue and then moving to a new house built by his parents on South Sylvan Avenue.
His family was deeply connected to the Hilltop neighborhood as members of Hogue Memorial Presbyterian Church and as owners of Seiller’s Department Store on West Broad Street.
His first school experience was attending a private home Kindergarten class in the days before Columbus City Schools implemented Kindergarten classes in the system. He later attended West Broad Elementary and graduated from West High School in 1951. While at West, Howard participated in the Photoplay Club, the Latin Club, the Debate Club, and the Stage Crew (10th-12th). He was a member of the “L” Society and the National Honor Society. He was elected as his Registration Room’s Business Manager and Civic Chairman for his junior year and as the Secretary for his senior year. He was selected to attend Boys’ State and the Rotary Luncheon. He served as a football announcer and was in the Senior Class Play.
Howard received his undergraduate degree from Miami University in 1955. While at Miami, he was a member of the ROTC program and Beta Theta Pi fraternity. After graduating, he was commissioned as an officer in the US Navy Supply Corps and served in the Korean Conflict. When he completed his duty to the Navy, he joined his father at Seiller’s Department Store, serving as a manager and buyer. He was later involved in opening several fabric stores in both Columbus and Gomer, Ohio.
Howard decided to change his career to education and returned to Ohio State University where he earned his second Bachelor’s degree in 1964, a Master’s Degree in 1966, and finally a Doctorate Degree in Education in 1968. He went on to hold many positions with the Columbus City Schools, starting as a teacher at West High School and rising to the position of Assistant Superintendent. During that time, he was a real visionary for education. According to former West teacher and coordinator of the ACOT (Apple Classroom of Tomorrow) program, Bob Howard, Dr. Merriman was the original reason West High School was able to apply for the large grant from Apple Computer. West was the only high school chosen in the world and there was only one elementary and one middle school as well. The very popular ACOT program was a mainstay at West for thirteen years. During that time over 6,000 visitors from 29 different countries visited West to view the program firsthand. The focus of all the visitors was to learn about how to integrate technology into the curriculum for all of the major subjects.
In addition to his work as a teacher and administrator, he co-authored a book and wrote for educational publications. He also held positions as an adjunct professor at The Ohio State University and as a consultant to other school districts. He finished his career in education as the Superintendent of Lakeville Schools in Otisville, Michigan.
Howard’s favorite free time activity was reading. He served as a Trustee of the Worthington Public Library Board. He enjoyed sailing, woodworking, and collecting antique hand tools. After retiring, he became interested in genealogy with a special interest in researching his Ohio Welsh heritage. He especially loved all of his many cats and dogs.
Sadly, Howard died on December 25, 2011, leaving behind a loving family consisting of his wife, Dorothea “Dottie” Merriman, and his four children: Carolyn, Elizabeth, Sarah, and William. He had five grandchildren and one great grandchild.
Dorance Nichols Hornsby, Class of 1963, nominated Howard.