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Merilyn Kay Gamet Harvey Paris
February 25, 1942 - February 11, 2023
Merilyn Kay Gamet Harvey Paris passed away peacefully on February 11, 2023, surrounded by her family.
Merilyn was born on February 25, 1942, to parents Donald and Pauline Gamet of Wichita, Kansas. She graduated valedictorian of her class from Shawnee Mission East HIgh School and went on to the University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC) for her education degree. The Ford Foundation provided an opportunity to teach in the Kansas City Missouri School District. She also taught in the Shawnee Mission School District. She served on the UMKC Alumni Board for several years. She is survived by her devoted husband of 45 years, Nick Paris, her three children, Deborah Harvey, Rebecca Day (Jeff), and Max Harvey (Medill), and her four grandchildren: Sarah Day Bilyeu (Max), Allison Day, Thomas Harvey, and George Harvey.
Merilyn was an extraordinary human being with Cassandra-like prophetic skills. After taking a bus tour around New Orleans in 1991, she predicted that the city would be devastated by a Category 5 hurricane. Fourteen years later, Hurricane Katrina proved her correct. In 1972, she was extremely upset that President Nixon took the U.S. off the gold standard. She foresaw a global financial crisis in the future, which actually occurred in 2008. After the 2016 election, many observers thought that the White House would change Donald Trump. She said that he would change the White House rather than the other way around, which he did. After visiting the Hoover Dam in 2001, she said there were too many people dependent on the Colorado River and that one day a drought would bring about a water crisis in the West, which is where we are today.
Merilyn was the type of person who never met a stranger. She would go out of her way to be friendly, generous of herself, helpful, and always checking in on others. A devoted Mother and Grandmother, she was known to make holidays, especially Christmas, extra special. Birthdays were celebrated with her personal touch. She loved to cook, sharing her favorite family recipes and homemade cookies with family and friends. Her love of Kansas City was passed down to her children and grandchildren through trips to museums, historical places around town and restaurant outings. An ordinary event could be made extraordinary with her enthusiasm.
Merilyn was a role model for acceptance and tolerance. She went out of her way on numerous occasions to be nice to workers and fellow patients of ethnic groups. “We all need to get along”, was her motto; she was saddened by the recent racial incidents and worried that society was headed back to the old racist days of the past.
Brilliant and empathetic, thoughtful, and caring, we shall not soon see the likes of her again. A family gathering will be held at a later date. At this time, her family asks that contributions be made in her memory to the American Cancer Society at www.donate3cancer.org.