Cover photo for Merlin Edward Farish's Obituary
Merlin Edward Farish Profile Photo
1933 Merlin 2024

Merlin Edward Farish

June 4, 1933 — May 17, 2024

Spanish Fork


Our beloved father, grandfather and great-grandfather Merlin Edward Farish, 90, passed away peacefully on May 17, 2024. He joined his wife of 67 years, Rita Mae Taylor Farish, in heaven for a beautiful reunion after 3½ years. Merlin was born in the little coal mining town of Spring Canyon, Carbon County, Utah, on June 4, 1933. He was the youngest child born to William Edward Farish and Gladys Jewkes Farish to a family of three sisters (Mary, Helen and Colleen) and one brother (William). Merlin spent his entire youth in Spring Canyon, enjoying a simple but adventurous life for a young boy.  He met Rita Mae Taylor from the nearby town of Castle Gate and the love story began.

Merlin and Rita were married on April 1, 1953, in the Manti Utah temple. When they returned from their honeymoon, a letter from the Department of Defense was awaiting them drafting Merlin into the Army. They spent time in Tacoma, Washington, for his service and while there, their first child, Michael was born. At the end of Merlin’s military service, the young family moved to Torrance, California, and lived there for the next 60 years before moving to Utah. During those 60 years Merlin worked hard to create a happy life for his growing family. While in Torrance, Paula, Cyndie, Allison, Loretta, Aaron and Larayne joined “the gang,” as Rita called it.

Merlin was a hard worker his entire life. Early on he worked for a rubber manufacturing company and the night shift at an oil company until he got his Real Estate license. He worked for Marina Realty in Hermosa Beach for many years. While doing that he also had a carpet store and a hauling business with a grand old truck that everyone loved. That green truck was the basis for fun times including everyone piled into the back for a yearly ride to the 4th of July firework show at a local park. After his work as a Real Estate Broker and years after most men would be retired, he worked in legal services for many years. Merlin was always busy as "Mr. Fix-it." He never sat still and was continuously working on cars, lawn mowers, dryers (or whatever was broken and needed fixing) and coming up with interesting contraptions.

Merlin was a faithful man who loved the Lord. He spent many years committed to service in the LDS church. He was always the first to volunteer whenever and wherever he was needed. As a Bishop, he was especially dedicated to working with the youth. He was dearly loved by them all and was the Bishop some have said they will never forget.

Merlin was very musical and had a lovely singing voice. He was always part of his ward choir and could play several instruments including the tuba and trombone. The favorite of everyone was his ability to play the Ukulele. Often, family events included sing-alongs to his Ukulele. Merlin also loved animals, from his boyhood dog Popeye to our family dogs Gina, Daisy and PJ, Merfy; many cats (too numerous to name); and he kept the wild birds and squirrels well fed.

Countless cherished family memories include vacations and adventures whether it was a houseboat trip to the Sacramento River Delta, riding around in an old Willys Jeep or the annual visit to the grandparents’ house in Utah; it was always a great time. The family station wagon was our mode of transportation and Dad was the chauffeur.

As a grandpa, Merlin was the absolute best. At times, he filled the shoes as dad to several grandchildren and stepped in like no other. He could always be counted on for entertainment. The grandsons lovingly gave him the nickname of the “Merlinator,” especially when they had been called “Weisenheimer” many a time.  In his later years he was often described as a bull in a China shop being ultra-focused on the task at hand; and we will always remember, “Where’s Dessert?” as it was his favorite part of the meal.  

Merlin was completely devoted to his family and they were his source of pride and joy. He loved to tell everyone about his 7 kids, 33 grandchildren and 65 (and counting) great-grandchildren. Merlin is preceded in death by his wife Rita Mae, his parents and sisters, his big brother Bill, his son-in-law Terry Anderson, his daughter-in-law Allison Jolley Farish, his grandson Kevin Vanoy, and his great-granddaughter Camille Steck. He is survived by his seven children: Michael William (Constance) Farish, Paula Denise Farish, Cynthia Mae Taylor (Perry), Allison Lea Vanoy, Loretta Kay (Henry) Araiza, Aaron Taylor Farish, and Larayne Cherie (Jon) Fitisemanu; 33 grandchildren and 65 great grandchildren.

Merlin Farish was a remarkable father, grandpa and great-grandpa. His loving, unique and funny personality was enjoyable and his escapades are talked about by many to this day. He will be truly missed, but his legacy of pure devotion to his family will live on in our wonderful memories of him. We love you dad; you were our sunshine.

Funeral services will be held on Monday, June 3, 2024, at 11:00 am at the Hobble Creek 12th Ward LDS Chapel, 950 South 1700 East, Springville, Utah.  A visitation will be held from 10 to 10:30 prior to the services. Interment will be in the Helper City Cemetery.

Condolences may be expressed to the family on this page.

Those unable to attend the funeral in person can stream it live or watch it afterwards at

To send flowers to the family in memory of Merlin Edward Farish, please visit our flower store.

Merlin Farish(After conversion).mp3

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Monday, June 3, 2024

10:30 - 11:00 am (Mountain time)

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Funeral Service

Monday, June 3, 2024

11:00am - 1:00 pm (Mountain time)


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