Folsom Funeral Service

Merry, George B.

George Bernard Merry, a lifelong Hyde Parker through and through, died Wednesday, July 1st, 2009 at the Carney Hospital in Dorchester.  He was 83.  George’s work as a journalist carried far beyond his Hyde Park community, with some of his research articles running in the international publication The Christian Science Monitor.  As a longtime reporter at the Massachusetts State House, Mr. Merry did a five-part series on the disproportionate influence that some areas in some states had in the composition of their legislatures.  The imbalance resulted in the filing of lawsuits and the eventual US Supreme Court ruling establishing the “one man, one vote” principle.  In his 45 years of journalism Merry had a multimedia career, going from print to radio to television, covering his specialty, politics and government.  For 21 years he also lectured on journalism in evening courses at his alma mater, Northeastern University.  George Merry was born June 5, 1926 in the house on Lexington Avenue in Hyde Park that his maternal grandfather, George Bowwes built in 1913.  George’s niece, Lorraine (Watson) Fourney, reports that his parents, Edgar Francis, and Ethel Bradford (Bowes) Merry, were also married in the same homestead.  George graduated from Hyde Park High School in 1944 and from Northeastern University in 1948.  He worked summers helping in the office at the Westing- house plant in Hyde Park but a different career choice was calling him.  He found work at the Christian Science Monitor, first as an office assistant, and later as a reporter.  Because of weak eyesight since childhood he developed a phenomenal memory.  This talent, sharpened in his youth by memorizing major league baseball statistics, helped the rookie reporter as he covered general news, labor, the waterfront, and the world of politics.  All his stories were done in the old fashioned way, on his manual typewriter.  George was New England Bureau Chief for three years, followed by eight years covering Boston City Hall, and then 18 years as a State House reporter.  His weekly Beacon Hill Watch column was carried in the Monitor and syndicated to 18 other daily and weekly newspapers across Massachusetts.  He progressed to reporter and commentator on Monitor radio.  In 1989 he won new fans seeing him for the first time on television.  He hosted the hour long weekend program Affairs of State.  George served as the vice president of the Hyde Park Historical Society for 30 years.  He was active in his church, the Third Church of Christ, Scientist in Hyde Park and often volunteered his time to staff the reading room.  George was also a faithful Mason and member of the Fourth Estate Lodge, which was later absorbed into St. John’s Lodge AF & AM, the oldest masonic lodge in America.  In 2007 he received his 50 year membership pin in masonry.  For years he enjoyed attending the monthly banquets at the Massachusetts Grand Lodge in Boston.  George was recognized by his colleagues with the presentation of the prestigious Yankee Quill Award.  He was named a fellow of the Academy of New England Journalists for his contributions to his profession.  He also received the Outstanding Alumni Award from Northeastern University, the Public Service Reporting Award from the American Political Science Society, and was a nominee for an award from the New England Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Science.  George was a past president of the New England Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and a former president of the Massachusetts State House Press Association.  He was a former vice president of the Boston City Hall Reporter’s Association.  After retiring in the 1990’s Mr Merry joined a group of retired newsmen, former legislators, judges, and city officials for lunch, reminiscences and discussion of the news of the day at Doyle’s Cafe in Jamaica Plain.  The group, designated as ROMEO’s (Retired Opinion Makers Eating Out),  included George as a faithful member until the end of 2008 when his health problems started.  George Merry is survived by his sister, Mary L. (Merry) Watson, and her husband Donald, of Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania; his nephew, David Watson of Newcastle, Pennsylvania; and his niece, Lorraine (Watson) Fourney, and her husband David, and their children, Jenna, Kimberly, and Ian Fourney, of Gaithersburg, Maryland.  A celebration of the Life of George Merry and Masonic Tribute in his honor will be held Saturday, July 18th at 2 PM at the Third Church of Christ, Scientist, Arlington Street, Hyde Park. Private burial will be in Mayflower Cemetery in Duxbury.

Guestbook Entries

  1. Cheryl Branagan Callahan
    July 14th, 2009 | 8:05 pm

    William Branagan born 1926 of 148 Beaver St. Hyde Park also died May 30 2009 at 82 yrs. old they may have known each other during the school days. I was born in 1946 and lived at my Grandmother’s house in Hyde Park. He had brothers Walter William (my dad)David Donald and Edward. To bad he died but it would be interesting to hear if they knew each other.
    God Bless him for the wonderful life he lived

  2. Diane Sunderland Khatib
    July 25th, 2009 | 12:54 am

    George Merry will always be remembered from my childhood as a gentleman and a man of great dignity. It is a rare honor to have such inspiring people touch one’s life. He was a very dear friend to my family and to my late mother, Edith Sunderland. Hyde Park was truly blessed with such a delightful resident.

  3. Gail Sunderland Tsolirides
    July 27th, 2009 | 1:10 pm

    Dear Donald, Mary, David, and Lorraine and family,

    I haven’t stopped thinking of George since I got the news just the other day… George was very special to us Sunderland girls, as a lifelong family friend. He was like a pilot light in the back corner of our souls. He set a steady, quiet example of an ethical life. George, ever the listener, was always keenly interested to hear updates on our adult lives. He had a photographic memory for the details!

    I will sorely miss his Christmas letters. Most of all, I will miss the affection that he had for us. For you, the true lights of his life, the loss is immeasurable. I know that he loved the closeness that you all shared- he expressed it in beautiful words, in those Christmas letters! It is nice to know that George’s steady pilot light will shine on in the souls of his nephews and nieces. Be assured, it matters.

    P.S. Please contact me for anything that you need to have done locally. I would be honored to help in any way.
    (E-mail is:

  4. Thomas S. Brown
    December 24th, 2009 | 12:06 pm

    I worked with George in the late 70s when I was an AP reporter at the Massachusetts Statehouse. My desk was next to George’s corner. I just caught up with the news of his passing because his annual Christmas newsletter failed to show up in my mailbox this year. That sent me to Google, where my fears were confirmed. Even though I have been in Daytona Beach the past 20 years, I enjoyed keeping in touch with George. He helped scores of younger reporters over the years, but never was condescending. As his obituary stated, a true gentleman and a journalist who could be tough but always fair. He leaves a tremendous legacy to Boston and the entire nation.

  5. David Laird Scott
    November 10th, 2019 | 10:43 pm

    I knew George in the 1960s when my grandmother was a member Third Church, where I attended occasionally. I believe he attended my Aunt’s wedding (we have a photo). He was a great friend of my grandmother and father. My father graduated Hyde Park high school in 1945 and knew him from there as well as the church. I think of him often, and was happy to remind my mother of George. My Dad was H. Charles Scott, (Hank), my grandmother was Louise Scott, and my aunt was Emily. Thanks so much to George.

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Folsom Funeral Service

Folsom Funeral Service