Merritt Elmo James, II, 76 years, 3 months and 28 days, of Lincoln, passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015, at the Bryan Medical Center East-Lincoln.

He was born on July 19, 1939, in Onawa, Iowa, to Merritt Earl and Irene (Belcher) James. He graduated from Nebraska City High School in 1957, and received high school honors as: “Lincoln Journal-Star First Team Class A All-State Basketball Selection.”  Merritt moved to Lincoln, where he attended school and also played on the basketball team at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

On Aug. 23, 1959, Merritt and Mary Ann Mead were united in marriage in Hiawatha, Kan. To their union were born a daughter, Cynthia Ann; three sons: Merritt Henry, Bradley Mead and Jeffery David.Merritt graduated from UNL with a Juris Doctorate Degree, he received legal honors: Phi Delta Phi, Roscoe Pound Outstanding Oral Advocate Award, Law Review, and Regional Moot Court Winner. He opened his own law firm, Merritt E. James Attorney Law, in Lincoln.

Merritt was a member of the St, Mark’s Methodist Church in Lincoln, Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity, and the Hillcrest Country Club, where he enjoyed golfing with his wife and friends. Merritt also enjoyed basketball, photography, reading and his greatest love was his grandchildren.

Merritt leaves behind his wife, Mary Ann James of Lincoln; four children: Cynthia Ann James of Scottsdale, Ariz., Merritt Henry James III and his wife Ullie of Haiku, Hawaii, Bradley Mead James of Kamath Falls, Ore., and Jeffery David James of Scottsdale, Ariz.; 5 grandchildren; brother, Donald James of Nebraska City.

There will be no visitation, viewing or service for Merritt. The family will have a private burial at the Wyuka Cemetery, in Nebraska City.

The family suggest memorials to the choice of the donor and have requested no flowers.

Condolences can be sent to Peterson Mortuary, website - or emailed to
Services are entrusted to Peterson Mortuary at 111 North 11th St. in Nebraska City, 68410.