James Richard “Donkey” Merriam, a 50-year resident of Yucca Valley and Morongo Valley, died Sept. 25, 2012, at the Hi-Desert Continuing Care Center in Joshua Tree. He was 76 years old.
The son of Ralph Henery Merriam and Dorthy Sailer, he was born Sept. 28, 1935, in Jefferson, Iowa.
He served in the U.S. Marine Corps for five years.
Mr. Merriam worked as a general contractor for 25 years before retiring.
He was a baseball and basketball coach for the Coaching Association through Yucca Valley Park and Recreation. He later sponsored the 1980 Wildcats Youth Soccer Team.
He is survived by son Craig B. Merriam of Joshua Tree, daughter Gretchen A. Womack of Joshua Tree, son Bruce J. Merriam of Sky Valley, stepdaughter Bobbi Cooper of Yucca Valley, stepson Steve Elliott of Temecula, ex-wife Mary Merriam of Yucca Valley and four grandchildren.
Services will be private.