“We have retained a few cows of our own and currently have them in a pasture in Barber County – just because!”
Larry “Dee” Scherich was born on December 9, 1939 to Virgil and Mildred Scherich in Alva, Oklahoma and grew up on the Davis Ranch in Barber County and Merrill Ranch in Comanche County where his father worked. In the mid-1940’s his father became manager of the Merrill Ranch, a position he held for 30 years. Dee graduated from Wilmore High School. Phyllis Scherich was born in Preston, Kansas on July 11, 1941 to Ervin and Ena Lucille Uhrig. Phyllis grew up in McPherson where she graduated high school. Dee received a football and track scholarship from Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kansas. Here, he met Phyllis and they married in McPherson in 1961. Dee has a BA in biology from Ottawa and an MS in biology from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Phyllis received a BS from McPherson College. They then both taught school around Kansas for a few years. In 1976, the Scherich’s stopped full-time teaching and moved to the Merrill Ranch when Dee’s father retired from the Ranch. Phyllis continued as a substitute teacher in the Coldwater schools. Dee was the “cowboy” who managed the Ranch, but Phyllis, who cooked meals, performed administrative chores and did repairs and maintenance, played an integral role in making sure the Ranch ran smoothly. From 1995-2003 the Scherich’s hosted an annual Benefit Trail Ride for the Comanche County Medical Foundation on the ranch which averaged over 200 riders each year. Funds from the Ride built a Dental and Health Clinic in Coldwater. Phyllis has done extensive research on the history of the Comanche Pool – especially as it relates to Evansville (the site of the Merrill headquarters), and of the construction of US 160 from Medicine Lodge to Coldwater. The Scherich’s have traveled extensively and have visited Mexico, Australia, Alaska and Europe. They take great pleasure in locating and identifying wildflowers, and are on the board of the Kansas Native Plant Society. The Scherich’s have three married sons, Kevin (Carol), Doug (Barbara) and Steve (Sandy). They have five grandchildren, Kyle, Ryan, Kieva, Kathryn and Sarah, three step-grandchildren, Ned and Cole Godsey and Chelsea Demmitt, and two step-great-granddaughters, Skyler and Paisley Demmitt. The Scherich’s retired from the Merrill Ranch in 2016 after devoting 40 years to the Harold and Catherin Merrill Trust. They currently live in McPherson and are active in the Countryside Covenant Church.