Merritt was born Aug. 20, 1922 in Marathon to John and Helma (Turnquist) Lutter. He graduated from Storm Lake High School and married Veronica Schmitt on Aug. 23, 1948. He was an avid fisherman, was a member of the Knights of Columbus, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, and a very proud 60-year member of the Plumbers and Steamfitters Local Union 33.
Merritt is survived by his wife, Veronica; children, Kathy (Ken) Wilgenbusch, Terry Lutter, Alan (Karen) Lutter, Mark (Kathie) Lutter, Dale (Cindi) Lutter, Lisa Lutter, and George (Sharleen) Lutter; 31 grandchildren; and 35 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; infant son, Roy; a brother and a sister.