The name Myrddin Emrys – pronounced MUR-theen EHM-reez (hard "th" as in "those" or "that") was the Welsh equivalent of "Merlin" and translated can mean "Immortal Hawk."
Known in the mundane world as Russell Leonardo, Myrddin defined himself as a pagan and Druid Priest, but not "Wiccan" and had facilitated the role of high priest in a number of our public circles in Salem.
He was a military veteran of the Vietnam era.
Myrddin learned of his illness last year, and had begun treatments as is customary, but complications set in, and he succumbed.
Several of us visited him in his last days in the hospital and gave our Blessing of Passage. There, we met his family who lives out-of-state.
He had a son and daughter-in-law and three small grandchildren. Other extended family was still being contacted at the time of his passing.
As was his wish, his remains will be cremated and returned to his family.
In honor of Myrddin, we will hold a memorial circle at Beltaine, Sunday, May 1, 6:00 pm at the Magika Shop, 63-R Wharf Street, Salem, MA on the green outside the store.