Rod J. Merrell (November 3, 1956-February 28, 2024)

Rod J. Merrell (November 3, 1956-February 28, 2024)

Rod J. Merrell (November 3, 1956-February 28, 2024)

Rod J. Merrell passed away February 28, 2024, after a short battle with ALS.

Rod was born November 3, 1956, to Rondo Jerome Merrell and Velva Mae Merrell (Despain) in Payson, Utah. Rod was a Payson High School graduate of the class of 1974. Rod found his true calling as a government trapper for Wildlife Services USDA/APHIS. His career started in Carbon County in 1997. Rod was acting district supervisor in 2006, eventually being promoted to district supervisor in 2009, until his retirement in December of 2022. Rod was also a gunsmith for the better part of 40 years, eventually opening Wolfer Gunworks in Rock Springs in 2016.

During his tenure at Wildlife Services, he taught ag in the classroom in Carbon County (his children were so proud). While supporting his family he also received his associate degree in wildlife biology which further supported his career within the agency. Rod soon was specializing in supporting healthy populations of all wildlife, including some endangered species.

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Rod could never be found in one spot, but once found he was out in the wild marveling in the solitude and happiness that God had made for a mountain man like him. Rod was many things; a father, son, best friend, mentor, trapper, hunter and a hard place to fall. Rod was known for his aptitude and love of playing the guitar; he could play Hendrix’s version of the national anthem behind his head, pulling pranks, and never backing down from a dare.

Rod is survived by his mother, Velva Mae Merrell, sister Tresa Merrell, sister Janece Pollock (Dale), brother Cristan (Bass) Merrell (Lynn), daughter Jessica Rose Thompson, Kelli LaNette Neuman, Sylvan Jerome Merrell (Whitney), Shawnee Wakara Tomich (Mike) Zedekiah Cole Merrell (Ashley) Partner Darlene Merrell, Lauren Neeff (Jin) Lewis Neeff, Quora Neeff (Robert Distler), Angela Phalen; Grandchildren Ethan, Aryah, Ellie, Weston, Merrell, Emery and Grayson, and three nieces, two nephews, numerous cousins, aunts and uncles.

He is preceded in death by his maternal grandparents John Despain, Mary Despain Arrowsmith (Swett), Sylvan Arrowsmith; paternal grandparents, Orville Merrell and Nola Merrell (Pollock).

Services will be held at The Church of Latter-day Saints at 2055 Edgar Street, Rock Springs, March 8, 2024, at 11 a.m., with graveside services to follow at Rock Springs Municipal Cemetery. Dinner and celebration of life will be held after at Holiday Inn Express in Rock Springs Wyoming.

In lieu of donations the family asks that donations be made to the ALS United Rocky Mountain, 10855 Dover Street, Suite 500, Westminster CO 80021, (303)-832-2322.

The family also wishes to thank Castle Rock EMT Service and the Rock Springs Fire Department for their continued help. They were a saving grace in times of need.

Condolences for the family can be left at