Georgiana Wilcox Merwin, 94, passed away at the Fox Nursing Home in Oneonta, on Feb. 12, 2021 after a valiant fight to survive Covid-19. The daughter of Sherman and Mareah Cummings Wilcox, she was born Aug. 23, 1926 in Trout Creek. She graduated with honors from Deposit Central School in 1943. She met and married Douglas Merwin in 1947 and in 1949, they moved into their house in Trout Creek and made that their lifetime home, a home that was filled with kids, music, dancing, and laughter. They shared 44 years of marriage until his death in 1991.
While still in high school, Georgiana worked at the A&P store in Walton. She had many jobs in her early years including the A&P, Breakstones, Crawford Brothers, among others. After marriage, in addition to making a home for her family, Georgiana worked outside the home. She worked at Bendix (Scintilla) for 31 years, first in production, then retiring in 1982 as a first line supervisor. Upon retirement, needing to stay busy and remain productive, she ran for office and was elected tax collector for the Town of Tompkins retiring in 2012, after many years in office.
Trout Creek was always “Peaceful Valley” to her and Doug, as depicted within the title of her first published book, “Peaceful Valley of Trout Creek,” which documented the founding and early history of the area she loved. At the age of 70, as a self-taught, admitted “newbie,” she became computer savvy and over the next 15 years, used her new found computer skills to write and publish several books documenting the history and lives of the local areas of Trout Creek, Rock Royal and Cannonsville. Over the years, she kept pace with ever-evolving technology and kept in touch with friends and family via social media until shortly before her death. In her later years, becoming more confined to her home, her computer became her window to the world.
As a child of the Depression, she knew the importance of being self-sufficient and saving for a rainy day. She was always thankful for what she had and never longed to “have it all.” She was grateful to have enough and was always more than willing to share with others if they were in need.
Georgiana’s sense of civic duty brought her to serve in many philanthropic service organizations throughout her lifetime. Some of these included local and regional leadership positions in the Women of the Moose in Sidney and the Rebekah Lodge of the Odd Fellows in Trout Creek. Additionally, she was a member of the following: VFW Auxiliary in Sidney, IAM Sidney, Bendix Management Club, Senior Citizens of Walton, N.Y. State Fire Department Auxiliary and the Walton Chamber of Commerce. She is a former member of the Trout Creek Methodist Church and also attended services at the Rock Royal Methodist Church, Christ Church in Walton and, most recently, the Trout Creek Community Church. She was a charter member and held elected office in the Trout Creek Firemen’s Ladies Auxiliary and alongside her husband and fellow members worked tirelessly at many turkey dinners, chicken barbecues, clam bakes, field days, variety shows, and many other fundraisers. The reward for all the hard work was the foundation for a strong and vibrant Trout Creek Fire Department and Auxiliary that made her and the whole community proud, then and now.
It wasn’t all work for “Georgie,” as she was affectionately known, and keeping up with her was not for the faint of heart! Her many enjoyments in life came from spending time with her family and friends, sharing a meal or having a drink, or dancing a jig or two. She loved her time playing pinochle with “Ye Olde Card Club” on Friday nights with some of her lifelong friends and neighbors: Fannie, Willie, Marian, Rhetha and her sister, Laura. She was always up for a good game of pitch, too, and enjoyed the friendly games with her friends in Sidney. She bowled in the leagues at the Walton Lanes where she enjoyed the competition and camaraderie of her fellow bowlers. She loved to crochet and many of her beautiful handmade items were exhibited at the Walton Fair, often garnering blue ribbons.
All the aforementioned accomplishments made her family proud but we all recognize, above and beyond all of that, first and foremost, she was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother. Georgiana is survived by four children, Linda Hall, Walton; Douglas Merwin and wife, Carla, Mt. Airy, N.C.; Suzanne Vanderbush and husband, Raymond, Glenwood, N.J.; and Sharlene Merwin, Bainbridge; 15 beloved grandchildren: Ricky Cox, Alyce Merwin Mincone, David Merwin, Michael Fisher; Chuck Hall, Tom Hall, Chad Hall; Beth Anderson, Kimberly Merwin, Kassie Merwin, Dakota Merwin; Raymond (Ray Ray) Vanderbush, Matt Vanderbush; Gary Hawk, Brett Hawk; 21 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
Besides her parents Georgiana was predeceased by her loving husband, Douglas; her first-born son, Richard; her son-in-law Chuck Hall; her brothers Charles Wilcox and Arthur (Bob) Wilcox; her sisters Laura Hoag and Emma Shackelton; and her special companion, Howard Ostrander.
This world was a better place with her in it. Trout Creek has lost one of its biggest cheerleaders and our family has lost its strong protector. She will forever live on in our hearts and memories. She has gone with God to rest in eternal peace in the arms of her true love, Doug. Her work on earth is done.
There will be no calling hours or services at this time. At the convenience of the family, a graveside service will be held at the Walton Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Trout Creek Fire Department or the Trout Creek Ambulance Corps.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Courtney Funeral Home, Walton. To leave a message of peace and comfort for Georgiana’s family, visit her online tribute at www.courtneyfh.com.