Colleagues remember Sam Merrill - WNEM TV 5

Colleagues remember Sam Merrill

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
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  • Sam Merrill's obituary

    Sam Merrill's obituary

    Friday, February 26 2016 3:40 PM EST2016-02-26 20:40:51 GMT
    (Source: WNEM)(Source: WNEM)

    Beloved husband, father, son and brother passed away suddenly Thursday, February 25, 2016. 

    More >

    Beloved husband, father, son and brother passed away suddenly Thursday, February 25, 2016. 

    More >

Condolences flooded in to TV5 after news broke of Sam Merrill's sudden death.

Friends and colleagues, stretching back to 1990 when Sam first arrived, offered their sympathy and shared stories from their time with Sam. 

“Sam loved his hometown Pittsburgh Steelers. He would frequently go home to watch games,” said Eric Jylha. “One year they were in the Super Bowl and Sam and I worked the newscast that followed the game. And when it got to the game all the TV monitors in the newsroom were very small. The biggest TV in the building, right here in the weather center. So we came out and we reworked some wires. No audio, Sam stood here the entire game watching his Pittsburgh Steelers. We could hear him in the news room. He was that passionate of a fan.”

Many of the condolences echoed Sam's importance at TV5 and to the Mid-Michigan community. 

“He is Mid-Michigan. He is TV5,” said Diann Sytek. “He loved what he did. He cared about the people of mid-Michigan.”

Sam acted as a mentor for many of the anchors and reporters who worked for TV5, and many who didn't.

“[My daughter] Beth recognized Sam as the WNEM news anchor and was a not certain how to react as she thought Sam had been a little hard on her Pops in a recent interview on the economy – I did not feel that way,” said Tim Nash, senior vice president for communications at Northwood University. “She did not let Sam know I was her father or her thoughts on the recent interview but did ask him for his ID before she served him. Sam instantly took an interest in Beth, asked her where she went to high school, what here plans for the future were, etc. When the meal was over he thanked her and told her what a great job she had done. Which made her feel 10 feet tall.”

Sam spoke often about his great love for his wife Katy and their son James.

“Katy I just hope that you know how much he loved you,” said Carrie Sharp. “And that when we would be talking in commercial breaks about our families, he just lit up every time he talked about you. And I hope that you know that in the depth of your soul is how much he loved you and how proud, how so very proud he was of James. That’s what I remember most about Sam.”

For all the love Sam received from the community, his colleagues said he was just as great to them.

"Sam was just a beautiful guy, a beautiful person. And, you know him as being great on the air. And he was just as great off the air," said Jim Kiertzner.

>>Read his obituary here<<

>>Offer condolences: Sam Merrill Memorial page<<

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