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Long time Price City employee prepares for parade honor

Suda Merriman spent a lot of time working in the city's greenhouse over the years as geraniums, begonias, and pansies reach a final step before they are transplanted into beautiful baskets, planters and parks throughout Price City.

Sun Advocate reporter

Suda Merriman has received plenty of awards and honors from Price City and the community over her many years of service.

But this next honor may be one of the most unique for Merriman.

The committee for the St. Patrick's Day Parade along with other city officials chose Merriman to be the Grand Marshall for the 2012 parade this Saturday.

While the committee was excited about sharing the news, Merriman was a little busy. After all, she retired two years ago and tries to keep as busy as possible.

So a friend had to break the news to Merriman about being chosen as the Grand Marshall of the parade.

"It's a great honor to be selected as the Grand Marshall for the parade," Merriman said in a phone interview on Tuesday afternoon.

While the honor of being a major part of the parade is something that sticks out to Merriman, a few other details are helping make the anticipation grow just two days before.

"I'm most looking forward to having nice weather, seeing everyone in the community out at the parade and having a lot of fun," Merriman said.

For those involved behind the scenes with the parade, the honor for Merriman is well deserved.

"I think it's way past due to honor her (Merriman) for the deep devotion she showed to Price City for all of those years she worked," said Jackie Davis, chairperson for the St. Patrick's Day Parade committee.

"It's a well deserved honor for such a wonderful and humble person who went above and beyond her call with Price City," Davis continued.

Merriman, a native of Bangkok, Thailand, started working with Price City in 1980 and became a full-time employee three years later.

She was responsible for the flower pots in downtown Price, the city parks and provided the plants near city hall as well. In 2002, she was named employee of the year for Price City in 2002.

After growing up poor in Thailand, Merriman quickly learned that hard work can take a person far in life.

"I learned to never give up, keep fighting and work very hard," Merriman said in a 2010 interview. "And the United States gave me an opportunity in my life."

Now Merriman, 66, spends her time tending her own garden, working around the house, exercising and even does a little bit of work here and there.

"I'm just doing the best I can do in life now," Merriman said.

Merriman credits her accomplishments in life with coming to the United States and being given and opportunity to work in a place she has grown to love.

"I love Price and the people in the community here," she said. "I'll always love this place until the day I die."

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