Merrilyn Weitzel, born 1921 in Oak Park, IL, was the daughter of Paul and Elsie Satterfield. In 1942, the family, including her younger brother Charles, moved to southern California at the request of Walt Disney, to join the Disney Studios. Her father was an animator and director of films including “Pinocchio,” “Bambi,” and “Fantasia.” While working for the “Los Angeles Times,” she met her first husband, Gene Sommers, and together they had a son, Michael. Merrilyn and Gene worked with youth groups, including Little League Baseball. A Little League field was dedicated to them upon Gene’s death in 1961.
Merrilyn went on to become the owner and editor of the “Sunland Tujunga/Glendale Record Ledger.”
Merrilyn met Ken Weitzel in Southern CA. Together they moved to Incline Village, NV, in 1968, where they married and operated Trophy Liquors, the first and only liquor store in Incline at that time. Living in Incline Village, until relocating to Reno in 2003, Merrilyn continued to participate in organizations benefiting the youth of the community. Merrilyn also designed and distributed over 150 afghans to friends, family, and charitable organizations.
Predeceased by her husband Ken in 2010, Merrilyn leaves one son Michael Sommers (Linda), stepson Kenny Weitzel (Katrina), and stepdaughter Deanne Virgil. Merrilyn also leaves four grandchildren, Ryan Sommers (Sarah), Genesse Greene, Amy McKenzie, and Ryan McKenzie (Andrea). She also leaves three great grandchildren, Grace and Andrew Sommers and Naomi MacKenzie.