On June 12, 2015 Merlin Bellinger’s family, Holladay co-workers and Holy Cross project contacts gathered for the dedication of the Merlin Bellinger View, located between the St. Joseph River and Merlin’s last project, a dormitory at Holy Cross in Notre Dame, Indiana. Merlin passed away on March 2, 2015.
John Phair, President and CEO of Holladay Properties gave the following dedication. Upon completion, Merlin’s children, Avery and MCB, imprinted their handprints and footprints into the memorial.
We are here to conduct a little business and funny business – Avery and MCB – and your cousins – I am betting this is your first business meeting. Well it will be short and then we will get to the funny business.
First, let me thank Brother John Paige and Dan Haverty of Holy Cross. They have allowed us to gather here and do funny business.
Why here? A few months after Merlin had gone to work we held a meeting here. In that meeting was Brother John Paige, Dan, Larry Mudd, Merlin and myself. Now look behind here, at the time there was no set location and Merlin and I took a walk out here in the cold weather, no leaves on the trees and looked at this great view that overlooks the river. He and the rest of the team concluded that this beautiful spot would be the perfect home for future students… and that is why we are here!
Larry Mudd was in charge and around the time of Thanksgiving he put Merlin in charge of this project to teach him the ropes. As we know he wasn’t here to finish, but this view will be here forever – the Merlin Bellinger View! We hope that the kids, Kelly, and Merlin’s family will come back to enjoy the view over time. I still believe, that something special will come from that concrete – 5 or 10 years from now, I believe it will have a campus legend or a story to tell. Who was that Merlin Bellinger? And who are Avery and MCB? And like magic, this will be a place to stand, to say a prayer or heaven forbid, sing the Michigan fight song! I predict something really cool will happen at this spot – always a little mysteriously.
Alright kids, almost done, but in our business we have a performance review, kind of like getting a report card. And I told many people, I am really mad at Merlin. He was so good and popular in the Holladay Properties office that we really miss him, almost as much as you do. I never was able to give him that review as this was his 1st project to come out of the ground. Kelly, we have a book of Merlin’s projects and contributions while he was at Holladay. We also have one for Merlin’s family. These are pictures of projects Merlin started, like this one. A couple of which are still secret but over the years you and the kids can take a look and see if we carried out some of his dreams. He had many special friends at Holladay and they have also penned some of their feelings about Merlin’s work life.
Along with this book, we want to leave a little imprint of you with the Merlin Bellinger View. As a kid I always wanted to put my hands and feet in new concrete. I’d be a liar if I didn’t admit to putting my initials in a few times when the construction guys turned their backs, so let’s see if we can make this work!
And finally, I want to thank Amanda Domalewski for helping pull this together and thanks to you [the family] for lending your husband, dad, brother and son to Holladay Properties.” – John T. Phair, President & CEO of Holladay Properties
What do you think of John’s message and our tribute to Merlin? Let us know in the comments section below!