OREM - Charles Smith Merrill, 98, founder of Deseret Mortuary in Salt Lake City and former owner of mortuaries throughout the Mountain West, died May 27, 1988, in an Orem nursing home of causes incident to age.

In 1925 Mr. Merrill purchased the Jacob Wyler home, which he established as Deseret Mortuary, still located at 36 E. Seventh South.At one time he owned 20 mortuaries in Idaho, Utah, Montana and Oregon. Some were known as Merrill Mortuary, but most of the Utah mortuaries carried the name Deseret.

Born April 27, 1890, in Salt Lake City, he was graduated from the University of Utah; served in the military during World War I, and attended a college of mortuary science in California. He operated Mortuary Service Co.; founded Lake Hills Memorial Park in 1953 in Sandy, and was involved in many other types of businesses. (See obituary on B15.)