What ever happened to Jon Merrill?

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Stephen Russo

Jan 10, 2022, 9:56:01 AM1/10/22
to Annieorphans
Anyone know what happened to Jon Merrill - his "social media" footprint disappears at the end of December, 2013? Dead (pardon the phase) stop. 

If he's still alive, he'd be in his mid 70's. "Annie Fandom" never had a better friend than him. The documenting of all things "Annie" in "Annie People" is still one of the finest newsletters ever done on any subject. (Who'd believe what he could fit in 7 1/2 pages every other month.)  When I met Aileen a few weeks ago, she said she hadn't heard from him in many years.

Plus I was friends with him (and Trisha) for a few years in the early-mid 1980's when I was very active in what would now be called "Annie Fandom" , and kept up with "Annie people" right till then end in 1999 and issue #90. (Well, I think I got #90 someplace, my collection seems to go up to #89...) 

I still don't know the whole story of what went down in 1997 and why he stepped back, and props to Trisha for keeping "Annie People" going for a couple more years. My last contact with Jon was in the early 2000's. 

Just curious to find out what happened to an old friend. 

Tricia T

Feb 27, 2022, 11:53:02 AM2/27/22
to Annieorphans
Hello Stephen,  I finally have a chance to respond to your posting. Jon lives in a nursing home in North Carolina. He will be 77 in May. You are correct in observing that he is no longer on Facebook. He is doing well and I let him know that you were asking about him.

I am pleased to see that you look back on the "Annie People" years favorably. I do too. I am very proud of what Jon and I accomplished with "Annie People" over the years -- all the interviews and analysis we did, and the fun we had sharing the love of the comic strip/Broadway show/movie with fans such as you. You are correct that issue #90 of July 1999 was the last paper issue. I wish I had been able to continue the newsletter longer, or had given it a proper conclusion, but unfortunately "Real Life" got in the way and the newsletter just stopped...

However, when Julie gets the new AnnieOrphans website posted, I have given her PDF scans of all 90 issues, PLUS a bonus digital exclusive issue #91 which contains material from 1999 that was never published. I hope having 91 issues of "Annie People" hosted on Julie's website will be good resource for history for old and new fans alike.


Stephen Russo

Mar 19, 2022, 12:21:39 PM3/19/22
to Annieorphans

Tricia - great to hear from you and to find out Jon is alive and well.
Keep an eye out for a private message from me via email. :) 
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