Carl Merrill

Carl Everett Merrill, 62, of Ogunquit, Maine, died Saturday, October 3, in Prescott, Arizona from cardiac arrest while racing his race car in the Prescott Forest PRO Rally.

He was born in Bethel, Maine, and was a graduate of Gould Academy. Mr. Merrill received his undergraduate degree from Gorham State Teachers College and masters degree from the University of New Hampshire.

Carl moved to Ogunquit in 1960 to teach at Well High School, where he taught industrial arts and coached two state championship track teams. He also acted as athletic director and assistant football and basketball coach at Wells High. In 1968, he continued his teaching career at Masconomet High School in Boxford, Mass.

In 1963, after the urging of his college buddy "Mac" McDougal, Carl took over a sundries store at Ogunquit Beach which eventually lead to his ownership of Norseman Resorts. Norseman Resorts currently owns and operates three resorts in Ogunquit, Maine. Among the many business ventures Carl established were The Molly Trolley Corporate which owned, operated and manufactured motorized trolleys in over 40 cities around the country and Puerto Rico. Many Southern Maine coastal communities now use trolleys. Carl was also the owner of River Fishing, Inc., a commercial fishing operation; Sea Tern Timeshare condominiums at Moody Beach; The Ogunquit Washbasket; and, his latest success, the Worster parking lot which provided much needed additional parking for the community.

Mr. Merrill was very active in the community. His contributions included Past President of the Ogunquit Chamber of commerce, current President of the Oqunquit Library, former Ogunquit Town Selectman, and member of the Ogunquit Lions Club. He was a member of the Maine and Massachusetts State Teachers Association, National Teachers Association, Maine Fish and Game, Maine Innkeepers Association, and the Ogunquit, Wells and York Chambers of Commerce.

Carl's greatest passion was going as fast as possible, whether it was in an airplane, skiing, of driving his PRO Rally race car. He was a two-time North American Rally Champion, 1993 and 1996, and a Canadian Rally Series champion. His driving career started in 1989 at the Voyager Rally in Canada. Mr. Merrill was responsible for bringing PRO Rally to the State of Maine by establishing the Maine Forest Rally in Rumford, an event he won in 1995. Prior to his days as a driver, Carl owned closed-track race cars that competed all over the Northeast, and helped launch the careers of many drivers including Ricky Cravens and Kevin LePage.

Many would argue that Carl's real passion was not racing, but children or anything dealing with kids. Around Ogunquit Beach, he was known as "the candy man" to those not big enough to look over the candy store counter. Kid from all over would not have their trip to Ogunquit Beach complete unless they ran into "the candy man," who was known for free handouts of all kinds of sugar treats.

Recently, Mr. Merrill was instrumental in the restoration of School House #4 in Moody. The facility is now being used by local Boy Scout Troup C.

Surviving are his wife of 44 years, Barbara J. Merrill of Ogunquit; two daughters, Lorna M. Wentzell of Ogunquit and Martha M. Sheckells of Stuart, Florida; one son, Scott Carl Merrill of Scottsdale, Arizona; three grandchilden, Mollie, Hunter and Abilgail; one great-grandchild, MacKenzie; and two sons-in-law, Mark Wentzell and Mark Sheckells.

A sunrise service will be held Thursday, October 8, at 6:15 AM on Ogunquit Beach.

Because of his great love for kids, The Carl Merrill Children's Foundation has been established to benefit children's causes in Maine. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to The Carl Merrill Children's Foundation, c/o Smith Barney, 2398 Camelback Road #800, Phoenix, AZ 85016.

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