Merv grew up on a farm southwest of Fox Valley, Saskatchewan, a predominantly German-Russian community. He holds Bachelor and Master Degrees in Education from the University of Saskatchewan, but spent most of his working life in the retail building materials industry. Since retirement, he has been actively involved in preserving the story of the Germans who once lived in the Russian Imperial Empire, and later in the Soviet Union. He has translated and indexed thousands of Church records from the Catholic and Lutheran parishes of “South Russia” for the potential benefit of other researchers. Over the last 15 years, he has given numerous presentations about the story of the Black Sea Germans. Merv is committed to keeping the story and the historical record of the “Germans from Russia” alive.