Bailey L. Merman
June 4, 1962-Oct. 12, 2023
North Bend, Oregon
Submitted by Bruce Lewenstein
Bailey L. Merman, a lifelong artist who also worked as a landscape designer and locksmith, died on October 12, 2023, in North Bend, Oregon, of aggressive lung cancer, age 61. She grew up in Palo Alto.
Born in San Francisco on June 4, 1962, Merman was adopted immediately by Marion and Harry Lewenstein. As Bailey Lewenstein, she grew up in San Carlos and (after 1964) in Palo Alto, before returning to San Francisco as a teenager. She produced her first work of polished art, a silk-screened poster featuring a biblical verse, at Camp Swig in Saratoga, a Jewish summer camp.
After earning a GED, Lewenstein studied ornamental horticulture at City College of San Francisco. She received an associate of arts degree, and worked initially as a gardener for the City of San Francisco. Among her favorite assignments was the city zoo. She also trained as a locksmith.
In 1984, Lewenstein married Marc Merman, who had been one of her instructors at CCSF. Together, they built a landscape design business in the San Francisco Bay Area. They were especially successful at producing award-winning designs for display at county fairs.
The Mermans moved to 80 acres of forested land outside Glide, Oregon, in 1989. Merman opened a locksmith shop in Glide, and later moved the shop to Roseburg before closing it as digital technologies took over the industry. The Mermans also continued some landscape work. Merman supported her husband as he taught pesticide application and control seminars to commercial gardeners up and down the West Coast. Her husband also worked as a horticultural inspector for a seed company for several years, with Merman helping coordinate logistical support. For a few years, the Mermans also bred and sold German shorthaired pointer puppies.
Throughout this time, Merman continued her artwork, producing complex Celtic drawings and both watercolor and oil paintings. In 2014, she contributed to a large outdoor mural covering the side of a building in Glide, depicting rural Oregon. In 2016, she painted another large mural, of Crater Lake, for display in the Glide Community Center.
After her husband’s death in 2011, Merman moved from her isolated rural home into the town of Glide. In 2022, tired of evacuating each summer because of forest fires, she moved to North Bend, on the Oregon coast.
Merman is survived by her brother and his wife, three nephews, and two great-nephews. She had pets throughout her life, and is also survived by two dogs, a German shorthaired pointer and a pit-bull mix. Donations in lieu of flowers may be sent to your local branch of Planned Parenthood or SPCA.