JACKSONVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — Illinois College will host a celebration of life for beloved coach William D. “Bill” Merris on Sunday.

The celebration will be from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Sherman Gymnasium in the Bruner Fitness and Recreation Center. It takes place as IC’s Homecoming Weekend comes to a close. Everyone and anyone is welcome to gather and remember Merris.

Merris was an coach of several sports at IC, including men’s basketball, football, and tennis. He also served as Associate Professor of Physical Education for more than 40 years. He died on June 13, exactly a week before his 93rd birthday on June 20. 

On Sunday, his life will be honored through music and photographs. Memories will also shared by his family, friends and former players, including President Barbara A. Farley and Amy Wilson. Ahron Cooney, Pastor of Student and Recreational Ministries at Chatham Baptist Church, will serve as Chaplain.

Memorial gifts can be made to Illinois College Athletics, of which Merris was a lifelong fan. Community members can make a gift or RSVP to the event at www.ic.edu/BillMerris. The RSVP is not required to attend, but is encouraged for planning purposes. Anyone is welcome to share stories, pictures and memories of Merris.

More can be read about Merris’ career at IC on their website. His obituary may be read here.

For any questions or to RSVP over the phone, call the Office of Advancement and Alumni Engagement at 217-245-3046.