Class of 1992
At the time of his induction in 1992, Merne was president of Northwest Brokerage Co. of Seattle, WA.
He was born in Seattle and following a stint in the Merchant Marine, he attended the University of Washington until joining Heck Specialty Co. a wholesaler in Seattle. Starting at the bottom, he advanced to route foreman and then started his own wholesale distribution company.
He is attributed to developing programs to help his retailer customers do a better job of selling candy with unique sell through ideas. He is most noted for promoting bar racks of loose candy bars – an idea which was first picked-up by a single supermarket in Seattle, but which soon spread across the country and is still in common use today.
He met every challenge with the attitude “There’s Always A Way.”
Merne owned a small airplane and enjoyed flying during the 1940s and 50s. An avid boater and active member of the Seattle Yacht Club since 1959, he and his family cruised Puget Sound and Desolation Sound in Canada every summer for 58 consecutive years.
He and his wife Irene raised six children.
Merne passed away on September 6, 2004, at the age of 86.