Eleanor Gwynn Merrifield, 89, of Ithaca, NY, passed away, surrounded by family on Friday, December 30, 2022. She sadly had to battle dementia for over 10 years. Born in Syracuse, NY, on March 29, 1933, she was the daughter of the late Charles and Alice (Foote) Gwynn. She earned a Bachelor's degree in 1955 from Penn State University and was a member of the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority. She continued to complete her Master's in education from St. Lawrence University.
Eleanor was married to Homer (Herc) Merrifield from 1956-1987, they moved to Ithaca and she started her teaching career as Herc settled in as a Physical Therapy Professor at Ithaca College. They had two children Michael and Merri.
Eleanor worked in the Ithaca City School District for over 3 decades. She taught physical education and water safety at Ithaca High School, physical education, 3 and 4th grades at West Hill Elementary, 1stgrade at Central elementary and ended her teaching career teaching 2nd and 3rd grade at Cayuga Heights elementary. Teaching and supporting kids was her passion.
Eleanor was genuine, very social and always had a smile on her face. Eleanor was an avid knitter and reader. She loved to ski, skate and windsurf, garden and loved to be outdoors in general. Additionally, she volunteered at various nature centers – Cayuga Nature Center and Montezuma and enjoyed bird watching. She served on the Board of Directors at the YMCA for several years in her retirement. Her greatest joy was to spend time at her family’s cottage at Fair Haven Beach State Park and to support her children in their music and sports activities.
Eleanor is survived by her daughter, Merri (John) Goodrow, and their children Kelty and Colden Goodrow of Ithaca, NY; and son Michael (Jolyn) Merrifield of Bend, OR, and their children Trevor Merrifield of Bend, OR and Hannah Merrifield Crouch of Bozeman, MT. She is additionally, survived by her brother David Gwynn. Eleanor was preceded in death by her sister, Patricia Gwynn Taft.