Ellen Claire Merrill
Ellen Claire Merrill
  • September 17, 1935 - July 30, 2017
  • New Orleans, Louisiana

Share This Obituary

Ellen C. Merrill, Ph.D., entered into eternal peace at 8:15 Sunday morning, July 30 2017, at age 81. She was born September 17, 1935, in Oak Park, Illinois, daughter of the late Dana Noyes Merrill and Ruth Elizabeth Emerson Merrill Laidlaw; granddaughter of the late Brig. Gen. Dana True Merrill, USArmy, and Edith White Ferry Merrill. In 1953 she attended William and Mary College where she pledged Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. After two years she transferred to H. Sophie Newcomb College and graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1957. The next three years she spent in Europe at the University of Heidelberg, where she earned a diploma from the School of Translators and Interpreters in 1960. She returned to the States to obtain her Ph.D. in the German language and literature from Tulane University in 1965.

She taught at Tulane University, Saint Mary’s Dominican College, Loyola University, University of New Orleans and at Dillard University as associate professor and chair of the foreign language department. At the Historic New Orleans she was curator of education, founded and served as the director of the German archive.

Among her awards and honors is the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages–National Textbook Company Award, for building community interest in foreign language education; grants from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities and the National Park Service. In 1987 the German ambassador to the United States honored her with The Federal Republic of German Friendship Award, citing her efforts on behalf of German-American relations and her endeavors in fostering and sustaining friendship between the Federal Republic of Germany and the United States.

She excelled as a professor, translator, lecturer, author, editor and historian, contributing greatly to the scholarship of the German heritage of Louisiana. In her leisure time she enjoyed traveling, portrait painting, gardening and cooking.

She is survived by husband of thirty years, Raymond N. Calvert; son, George R. Leaman, wife, Susanne, of Charlottesville Virginia; daughter, Claire M. Leaman of Chicago; Dana E. Leaman, wife, Laurie, and grandchildren, Nathaniel and Ainsley of New Orleans; brother, Dana N. Merrill of Maynard, Massachusetts; sister-in-law, Nancy V. Merrill of Caldwell, New Jersey; husband by first marriage, Paul J. Leaman, Jr. of New Orleans.

The family would like to thank Notre Dame Hospice, personnel Annemarie, Candace, Christina, Deborah, Jeanine, Larry, Maureen, Mimi, Sheila and Sr. Paula, for their help, and especially Karen for her loving care in Ellen’s transition.

In lieu of flowers, donations to Trinity Episcopal Church or Saint Joseph Abbey are requested. Visitation will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church on Saturday, August 5th, from 9:00 until 10:00 am, followed by a memorial service at the church. Inurnment will be held Monday, August 7th, at 1:30 PM in Saint Joseph Abbey Cemetery, Saint Benedict, Louisiana 70457.