Sewn in Memory: Merrill Eskew
Merrill Eskew was co-owner of The Little Professor Book Center in Champaign, Illinois. Prior to that, he served in Vietnam in the US Army and was an air traffic controller in Decatur, Illinois. He was born in Ottumwa, Iowa in 1945 and died in Urbana, Illinois in 1992. In this video, he is remembered by his lover and partner, Jerry Wray, and his daughter, Amy Eskew.
These videos commemorate men who died from AIDS in central Illinois in the 1980s and 1990s as told through stories from their friends and family. They are produced by the University of Illinois Department of Journalism and Illinois Public Media as part of Sewn in Memory: AIDS Quilt Panels from Central Illinois, a community-curated exhibit created for the Spurlock Museum of World Cultures in 2021 in collaboration with the Greater Community AIDS Project of East Central Illinois (GCAP) and the Department of History at the University of Illinois.