Frank Paul Merenghi

Friday, April 17, 2015

Frank Paul Merenghi passed away on Friday, April 10, 2015, at the Missouri Veterans Home in St. James where he was a resident for the past three years. He was the publisher of the Nevada Daily Mail from 1968 to 1972.

Frank was born in Newark, N.J., in 1923, to Frank Louis and Denata Ella (Georgio) Merenghi. He graduated from Newark's Central High School before joining the U.S. Army in 1943.

Merenghi met his future wife, Willa McJimsey, at the Jefferson City USO where she spent her evenings singing and dancing with the soldiers bused in from Fort Leonard Wood, his Army post at the time.

Merenghi served with the 97th and 80th Infantry Divisions in the European Theater. He was a squad sergeant when his division crossed the Siegfried Line in December 1944. He was hospitalized in Paris for several months before being shipped back to the United States where he was Honorably Discharged in 1945. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and the Combat Infantryman Badge.

After a wartime romance, Frank and Willa were married in 1946 and settled in Maryville, Mo., where they spent 25 years and raised five children.

Merenghi graduated with BS/BA degrees in Spanish and Business Administration from Northwest Missouri State University in 1950. He remained a passionate Bearcat fan throughout his life. As a student attending NWMSU, he was employed part-time at the Maryville Daily Forum in advertising sales, circulation and sports reporting. He rose through the ranks and served as advertising manager and later advertising and business manager at the Forum before being named the publisher of the Nevada (Missouri) Daily Mail. After directing that newspaper's change from letterpress to the more modern offset printing, he returned to the Daily Forum as publisher where he ended his 30 year newspaper career.

He and his wife retired to Rolla in 1990 to be closer to a number of their children.

Merenghi was an avid, life-long bowler. He served in various capacities in the Maryville Bowling Association including league president, publicity director and historian. He was a charter member of the Maryville Bowling Hall of Fame. He was the executive director of the Missouri State Bowling Board for 15 years and served on the Missouri State Elks Bowling Board. When he moved to Rolla, Merenghi was named the publicity director for the Missouri South Central Bowling Association (MSCBA) and was inducted into the MSCBA Bowling Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Missouri State Bowling Hall of Fame in 1997.

Merenghi combined two of his life passions -- bowling and newspaper publishing -- by continuously writing bowling columns to promote bowling and to recognize the individual and collective efforts of local bowlers. His column, "Bowl Me Over," appeared in the Maryville, Nevada and Rolla newspapers over a 47 year period.

He was active in Maryville and Nevada civic community organizations and held leadership positions in the Rotary, Chambers of Commerce, Industrial Development Boards and Jaycees. He was a lifetime member of the Elks.

He was a member of the Maryville Presbyterian Church and served on its board of trustees.

Preceding Frank in death were his parents; his brother, Vincent; his wife, Willa; and son, Rick. He is survived by four children and their spouses: Marcie Giarrizzo, Rio Nido, Calif., Francine Merenghi (Jim Sowers), Rolla, Marla Merenghi (Al Del Rosario), Weldon Spring, Mo., and Vinnie Merenghi (Ann), Republic, Mo.; daughter-in-law, Janice Merenghi, St. James, Mo.; and sister-in-law, Mary Jane Merenghi, Toms River, N.J. Frank was blessed with eight grandchildren, Todd Nelson (Karen), Keller, Texas, Brian Miller (Jennifer), Ninilchik, Alaska, Darah McJimsey, Savannah, Ga., Meredith Yonker (Ben), Fishers, Ind., Michael and Joel Merenghi, Republic, Mo., Mindy Merenghi-Ray (Ryan), Indianapolis, Ind., and Steven Merenghi, St. James; and four great-grandchildren, Emily and Grace Nelson, Keller, Texas, and Gabrial and Jillian Miller, Ninilchik, Alaska.

Arrangements are under the direction of Rolla Cremation. A gravesite military honor guard detail is planned at a later date in Maryville, Mo.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Frank's honor to the Missouri Veteran's Home, 620 North Jefferson, St. James, MO 65559, or Central Missouri Honor Flight, 625 Cherry St., Columbia, MO 65201.

For online condolences, the family can be reached at