Level II Teacher’s Certification piece, 1995
March 2016: NAN notes with sadness the passing of Kandace Merric, a 1995 graduate of the NAN Teacher‘s Certification Program. Kandy is especially remembered by longtime Academy members for her charming, whimsical designs, especially the very memorable piece, The Dog Show. The Dog Show was selected for inclusion in the permanent collection of NAN because it was considered the outstanding piece of Needleart designed and embroidered by that year’s certification graduates. This is considered one of NAN’s highest honors. The Dog Show captivated everyone who saw it, and remains one of the most memorable of our accession pieces. Kandy was also noted for her instinctive grasp of color theory, and for her presentation on that subject in Level II Teacher’s Certification.
In addition to being a talented needlework designer Kandy was also devoted to West Highland White Terriers and in her hometown of Oceanside, NY she was instrumental in rescuing many of these appealing dogs and finding homes for them. Often the home was her own house. Kandy almost always had three Westies, and often sent out pictures via Facebook or email of all three pups dressed in costumes appropriate to the current holiday.
But she is most known and beloved in her home area because of her contributions to the Westie Rescue group. She would design Christmas ornaments depicting a Westie or two, and present them to new owners. Sometimes her Westie designs were sold as kits as fundraisers for the Rescue group. She was also known for making needlepoint pillows or framed objects depicting the dogs and then donating them to a fund raising auction for the local rescue organization. Kandy was well known in Westie circles.
Because Kandy often rescued elderly dogs they usually left her after a short time. She was responsible for popularizing to the Westie culture, and the needlework world, the expression “Crossing the Rainbow Bridge”, which refers to the passing of one’s beloved pets.
Tim Taggart, husband of our own beloved Jean Taggart (former director, now deceased) said in his tribute to Kandy: “All of our lives have been richer for having known Kandy, and Heaven is a better place since she arrived. I can only imaging the ruckus at the end of the Rainbow Bridge when her ‘kids’ saw her arriving.”
Kandy is survived by her husband Sheldon, and her father, Arthur.