Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Officer Noah Mack Merrill, Jr.

Arizona Department of Public Safety, Arizona

End of Watch Monday, December 11, 1978

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Officer Noah Mack Merrill, Jr.

It is always sad when a person dies while providing service to the community. One who doesn't will never understand. We do it because we love to serve. My respects to his family and to him. I was an Army Chaplain and part of the Death Notification Team. If people would only know... I recently drove by I-10 on my way to AZ City and found his mark and took a picture to share with other retired LEO friends. R.I.P.

CH (CPT) Luis R. Piña

July 12, 2021

Remembering you on this day, Sir.

Texas Trucker

December 11, 2020

Rest in peace Officer Merrill.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

December 26, 2019

Officer Merrill,

Today we remember the 40th anneversary of your passing. Out here on the rig over in Wilcox at present. Thank you and we will never forget. I know what a strong sprit you are.

Texas, Trucker

December 11, 2018

Officer Merrill,
On today, the 40th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just as a LEO but for our Country as well when you served with the USAF. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

December 11, 2018

Officer Merrill,
A month from today you will have been gone from us for forty years. As a trucker I will say that there is never a time that the rig rolls up by a traffic stop or accident and I don't see your image at the front of my mind. If I cannot move left, the hazards go on and the rig slows to a crawl. Recently while on I-10 eastbound at AZ mile marker 312 and just after it my attention was drawn to the opposite shoulder (westbound side). I wondered if that might have been where the accident occurred? I sensed a strong presence.
Tomorrow I am headed to Phoenix in the rig and it will be so nice to stop and visit with you at the Texas Canyon rest area. I play a 15 string bass and am writing a song with Trooper Edenhofer in mind. You will be in the song as well, sir.

Texas, trucker

November 11, 2018

As a Reserve Officer for the Arizona Department of Public Safety, I worked with Mack the entire shift on December 9, 1978 just two days prior to his death. Because of ice and snow in the Texas Canyon area of Interstate 10, the Highway was shut down. I sat on a roadblock with Mack at exit 306 diverting all traffic back into Benson.

As we were a two-man car, I got to know Mack a bit. He loved his family and his coffee. He was proud of his military years and very proud to be an Arizona Highway Patrolman assigned to the town he grew up in.

Mack was well known on the CB radio as “Little Bear..”. After his death and after me going through the academy and replacing him in Benson, truck drivers for years would still call on the CB asking for a “Come-Back” from “Little Bear.”

Although not close to Mack, as you read this, I’m sure you can tell that Mack had a great influence on my life and career with the Department. I will be forever greatful.

Sergeant Jim Carroll (retired badge 2470
Arizona Department of Public Safety

November 7, 2018

Officer Merrill,
On today, the 38th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just as a Law Enforcement Officer but for our Country as well when you served with the USAF in Europe during the Cold War. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

December 11, 2016

Some of us ole Military buddies just heard of Mack's passing-we called him "Cowboy" back in the day. 602nd AC&W sq. Gieblestadt Germany/ Loved his stories; being a military Brat, horsen around and all. I pray his family continue to remember this Honorable man. Feel feer to email me, (I might have some old photo's). [email protected]

Msgt (ret.) Paul Lawrence
past 602 AC&W sq. Giebelstadt, Germany

December 11, 2014

Just found out about Mack we called him "Cowboy" Were stationed together in the mid 1960's at a Radar site in Germany. Many fond memories; loved his ranch stories. If the family would want to contact me I may have photo's to share. An honorable man.

Msgt (ret.) Paul Lawrence
past 602 AC&W sq. Giebelstadt, Germany

December 11, 2014

"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."
Matthew 5:9

Marshal Chris Di Gerolamo
Federal Air Marshal Service

December 10, 2012

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 33rd anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

I pray for the solace of all those who love and miss you for I know both the pain and pride are forever. The tributes left in your memory were so loving and enabled me to learn what a special man you were.

Rest In Peace

Phyllis Loya
Mom of fallen California Officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05

December 30, 2011

In Douglas Arizona we are building a memorial to all Public Safety in Cochise County who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. Officer Merrill is included on this memorial. I would like the family to contact us. We would be honored to have you present for our unveiling in September, 2011.

Tanya Duarte
Ray Rios JR Fallen Officers Memorial

June 17, 2011

I'm grateful for your service, Sir, and for the example and sacrifice of your family and department.


July 31, 2010

Operation Blue Light

Just one twinkling blue light can be your way to let police officers know you're thinking of them.

If you tie a blue ribbon to the antenna of your car or put one blue light in a window of your house or in your Christmas lights, officers will know you're remembering them this season. It's a tradition started 31 years ago by the mother of a Philadelphia police officer who was killed in the line of duty.

Baby Bear

January 1, 2009

Known as Little Bear, Husband, Brother, Mack, Officer Merrill, Daddy and friend. I was very young when Daddy was taken from us all. But thanks to everyone around me, I've still managed to gain a sort of "memory" of him. He loved bologna and ketchup sandwiches; he was very proud of his handsome appearance; he often stopped truckers just to share a cup of coffee; he was surrounded by people who loved him and who miss him dearly. He is remembered in Texas Canyon, at The National Law Enforcement Officers' Memorial in Washington D.C., the cemetary in Benson where he is buried and in our hearts and minds. Thank you so very much to all who supported my mother Susie and thus the three of us kids during those times of loss. And I am always excited to hear new stories about the man I missed out on. So please feel free to e-mail me. And thank you for remembering.

Baby Bear

January 1, 2009

RIP you and all the fallen officers were taken too soon from your loved ones.


October 3, 2008

This is my brother, Mack, whom I adored. He was and will always remain my Guardian Angel. He inspired me in life, and that inspiration continues to this day. He took his job very seriously..."Greater Love Hath No Man but that He Lay His Life Down For a Friend"....that was Mack. He made the ultimate sacrifice, and left his family and friends devasted. It was his job.

I remember him with all the love my heart can hold. He was always my Hero and will always be my Hero.

Thank You DPS for having this site. My Mother would be so pleased.

Margaret Merrill Rutigliano
Sister of Officer

May 16, 2008

I periodically check AZ. memorial pages and I've been to this site a lot. This time I found the "reflection page". It's a joy to see how many people were fond of my uncle. I read every entry and find myself in tears. It was a HORRIBLE time in our lives. My uncle was the closest person to my mom and he was my favorite uncle. We still miss him terribly. The world was definately cheated when he left it.
Now, I'm married to a COP and this incident is always in the back of my mind.

I remember all the stories of how nice my uncle was to the truckers and how they'd have coffee together. He would let me ride in his patrol vechile when we went to see him. He was always funny. THANK YOU everyone for the wonderful memories.

He'd be so proud of his 3 children's accomplishments and ALL of his gradnchildren.

Thank you Arizon Department of Public Safety Department for having this site.

Renee Rutigliano-Proffitt

Campbell County Attorney's Office WY
Niece of "Uncle Mack"

May 15, 2008

You are remembered today and thank you Sir for your service

Pat Van Den Berghe, Manchester, NH
Neighbors for a Better Manchester, NH

December 6, 2007

"The Badge"
He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.
He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.
Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.
He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.
His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.
He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.
And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.
But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.
Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.
Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.
So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.
In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.
Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.
Written By:
David L. Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1999 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC

November 14, 2007

Rest in Peace, Officer Merrill. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Officer 11169

March 14, 2007


We only met once, at that crisis intervention class in Tucson. You told me some great stories about working Highway 77 in the Salt River Canyon, and how your radio didn't work in the canyon and what a problem that could be. After the class you asked me if I knew of a place to work out - so I took you over to the Tucson PD and snuck you into our gym via the back door. Of course for liability purposes they didn't want outsiders working out in the weight room - but the greatest thing about being a cop is bending the rules. We had a great laugh about that one.

I was so grieved to hear of your untimely fate. It was a great loss to the Benson community and to Arizona DPS. God speed my friend.

Dave Johnson

February 25, 2007

I was coming back from a search warrant service in the Willcox area the other day Noah and I stopped at the rest area to say Hi, and visit with you a little bit.
Someone left you some flowers, and I thought how nice that was for someone to do that.
I'll try and remember the next time I'm over that way and I'll bring you some flowers.
It's the least I can do.

Angel Gonzalez
C.S.I. Cochise County Sheriff.

March 24, 2006

Well Noah, it's been over a year since I left a reflection for you and it's going on 27 years since we lost you.
It's hard to believe all the years that have gone by and to this day I still think of you, and I can't help but wonder where you'd be right now if you had finished out your career.
A tragic event took you from us, cheated law enforcement of a damn good cop, and denied young officers of a mentor that they would have been proud to follow.
Keep watching over us from up there, rest easy and remember you are missed.

A. Gonzalez C.S.I.
Cochise County Sheriff.

July 26, 2005

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