* George H. Merriken; Citrus Grower, Rancher

Retired rancher George H. Merriken, a longtime Ventura County resident, died Monday at Santa Paula Memorial Hospital. He was 91.

Merriken was born June 28, 1909, in San Diego and grew up there. He graduated from San Diego High School and San Diego State University. For two years he worked as a national park ranger in the Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

He met his future wife, Marie, at the university, and the couple dated for five years before they married.

They moved to Ventura County 64 years ago, and he became a citrus grower and rancher for more than 55 years. He was an active member of the Lions clubs in Moorpark and Simi Valley. Most recently he was the bulletin editor for the Lions Club in Fillmore, a position he held for six years.

He and Marie were longtime volunteers for the Ventura County Fair. They had recently received a 50-year plaque for their service. He also had worked with 4-H groups in the county for more than 55 years, often teaching entomology classes.

He was preceded in death by his son, Richard, last year.

In addition to his wife of 65 years, Merriken is survived by daughters Nancy Sather of Santa Fe, N.M., and Joyce Morgan of Fillmore and six grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Fillmore Lions Club Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 632, Fillmore, CA 93016.

Arrangements are under the direction of Pierce Bros. Stetler Mortuary in Santa Paula.

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