Julie Merino returned to some of her beloved family on Sunday morning, August 3, 2014. She passed away in St. George, UT. Julie was born August 18, 1944, in Bremerton, Kitsap County, Washington, to Robert Howard Rhodes and Jean Marion Kinney, the second of six children. Julie’s early childhood was spent in Washington, and later the family moved to Idaho where she graduated from Nampa High School. She attended Brigham Young University and majored in English with a French minor, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1967.
Julie married Jose-Maria (Joe) Merino, also a BYU graduate, in the Manti LDS Temple on April 7, 1966. Together they raised four boys while continuing their graduate education. They lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; San Diego, California; Vernal, Utah; Littleton, Colorado, and retired in St. George, Utah in 2006. While in Colorado, Julie attended graduate school at the University of Colorado and received a Master of Arts degree in Psychology in 1988, followed by a two-year advanced certification program in Marriage and Family Counseling from the University of Denver in 1990.
Julie began her counseling career while finishing graduate studies and started a private practice soon after becoming a licensed professional counselor. She was a popular speaker at church and civic functions throughout the greater Denver Metro area. She also volunteered as a Red Cross mental health worker responding to natural and man-made disasters in the United States. Julie organized and led the Colorado Volunteers of the National Red Cross Mental Health Disaster Response Team for several years, receiving national recognition for her outstanding leadership. A plaque resides at the Red Cross headquarters in Denver, Colorado in her honor. Julie’s team responded to the 9/11 tragedy, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Columbine High School shootings, and numerous other disasters.
Julie served with her husband as he presided over the Honduras Comayagua Mission from 2003-2006. They have since served two full-time missions together; as proselyting missionaries in the Denver South Mission and most recently as the Area Mental Health Advisor for the Caribbean and Central America Areas of the LDS Church which Julie presided over. They were released from their mission in late May of 2014. Not only was Julie highly regarded in her profession, but admired for her wit, kindness, and tender care of all those whom came with in her loving reach.
Julie Merino is survived by her husband, Dr. Jose-Maria Merino: four sons: David Christopher (B.A.), Joseph Aaron (M.A.), Andrew Juan (B.A.) and Stephen Miguel (Ph.D.). She is also survived by her mother, Jean Marion Rhodes; brothers: Dr. J. Robert Rhodes, David Rhodes, Michael Rhodes: and sisters: Susan Rhodes (Gibson) and Elisabeth Rhodes (Bingham).
Arrangements entrusted to the care of Metcalf Mortuary, 435-673-4221. For condolences, full obituary, and funeral listings please visit our website.
In lieu of flowers, Julie requests donations to your favorite humanitarian project.
- Funeral services will be Friday, Aug. 8, at 11 a.m. at the Sunset LDS 10th Ward Chapel, 415 Westridge Drive, St. George, Utah.
- Visitations will be held Thursday, Aug. 7, from 6-8 p.m. at Metcalf Mortuary, 288 West St. George Blvd, St. George Utah, and on Friday, Aug. 8 from 9:30-10:30 a.m. prior to services at the Chapel.
- Interment will be in Tonaquint Cemetery.