Hubert "Jim" Merrigan, 64, Scottsbluff

Hubert "Jim" Merrigan, 64, of Scottsbluff, passed away peacefully surrounded by family at his farm outside of Scottsbluff on Wednesday, August 22, 2012. He suffered from brain cancer. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, August 25, 2012 at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Scottsbluff with Fr. Vince Parsons as Celebrant. Interment will follow at Fairview Cemetery in Scottsbluff. The Nebraska Army National Guard will provide military honors. There will be no visitation. A rosary will be held at 7 p.m., Friday, August 24, at St. Agnes Catholic Church. In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests for memorials to be made to the Sower Foundation of the Panhandle at 1523 Idlewylde Drive in Scottsbluff, NE 69361. Online condolences may be made by visiting www.jolliffefuneralhome.com. Jolliffe Funeral Home of Scottsbluff is assisting the family.

Jim was born July 4, 1948, in Scottsbluff, to Bert and Eve (Schnell) Merrigan. He was educated at St. Thomas Seminary and received his baccalaureate degree from Carroll College. He served in the U.S. Army on Okinawa in the Vietnam Era from 1970-73. After a stint in Montana, he returned to the North Platte Valley to farm in 1979. He founded RE/MAX Sandstone Real Estate and conducted agricultural business across five states in the mountain west.

Merrigan was also very active in the community. His lead project was the sister city relationship between Scottsbluff and Bamiyan, Afghanistan. Merrigan traveled to Afghanistan twice and worked with the University of Nebraska-Omaha Center for Afghanistan Studies. Together they hosted Afghan women teachers in visits where they toured local schools and learned techniques to use when they returned home. The project also brought Afghan women to the United States for medical and other training. Merrigan co-founded the Sower Foundation of the Panhandle, a humanitarian organization focused on establishing ties with and improving the future for Bamiyan.

Merrigan was also a great advocate for the Scotts Bluff National Monument. He served as chairperson of the Friends of the Bluffs since 2009 and was working on a sister park project in conjunction with his Afghanistan activities. He is also a past president of the North Platte Valley Water Coalition.

Jim and Ce Hiller Merrigan had four children: Court (Nalinee), of Torrington, WY; Travis, of Spokane, WA; Nathaniel (Beth), of West Point, NY; and Michaela (Christian), of Ann Arbor, MI. He was the proud grandfather of three grandchildren: Ada, Waylon, and Bridgette.

He leaves behind a legacy of hard work and success in agriculture, real estate, and international humanitarian efforts. His great personal qualities were matched by an unendingly colorful personality.

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