Merrily Coldren

Obituary of Merrily Ann Coldren

A lifelong resident of Eugene, Merrily Coldren passed peacefully on March 19, 2023. She was 80.


Merrily was born in 1942 to Fran and Velda (Maxwell) Coldren. She was a descendent of John C. Maxwell, an original Eugene pioneer who arrived in 1852. Merrily attended Willamette High School in what was arguably the coolest time to be a high schooler—the late 1950s. She married, had two children, divorced, and built a remarkable career as an estate paralegal. Merrily enjoyed her 37 years at the Gleaves Swearingen law firm, most especially when working with families and businesses in the estate planning department.


When she retired in 2012, Merrily lent her formidable tax and accounting skills to the AARP Tax-Aide volunteer program. During her retirement, she also advocated for residents of assisted living facilities through Oregon’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program.


When Merrily wasn’t helping others, she could be found chasing a little white ball around the Shadow Hills Country Club, where she was an active member. There she served on a variety of committees. Her favorite was the Annual Shadow Hills Women’s Invitational. When recently asked what brings her joy, Merrily named the work she did helping people prepare their taxes (she was perhaps the only person who looked forward to tax season). And above all, she loved going on a good walk spoiled as often as Eugene weather permitted.


Merrily is survived by her daughter, Tracey Stewart (Robert Smith) of Delray Beach, Florida, grandson James Spadafore (Taelor) of Scottsdale, Arizona, grandson Maxwell Spadafore (Katie) of Austin, Texas, brother Jim Coldren (Patsy) of Springfield, Oregon, her sister Vicki Mitchell (Dale) of Phoenix, Oregon, as well as cousins, nieces, and nephews. Merrily’s son, Nick Schnell passed away in 1981.


A memorial service for Merrily will be held on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, 10:00 a.m. at Springfield Memorial Funeral Home, 7305 Main Street, Springfield, Oregon. As an alternative to flowers, the family asks that you consider a donation to Kidsports (

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Memorial Service

10:00 am
Tuesday, March 28, 2023
Springfield Memorial Funeral Home
7305 Main Street
Springfield, Oregon, United States
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