Rodman - Robert F. Merrill, 99, longtime resident, passed away Tuesday March 18, 2014 at the Lewis County Residential Health Care Facility in Lowville, where he had been a resident since April 2012.
There will be a graveside service in the spring at Fairview Cemetery in Rodman, where he will be laid to rest alongside his wife Marge and his daughter Judy. There are no calling hours.
Arrangements are with the Piddock Funeral Home, Adams.
Bob was born on March 22, 1914 to George and Nellie Smith Merrill of Pinckney. He was valedictorian of the class of 1930 at Copenhagen High School. In 1936 he earned a degree in elementary education from the New York State Teacher’s College at Oswego. The same year he received a different kind of education when he married Marjorie Glasier on October 21, 1936.
They lived together for sixty four years until Marge’s death on February 16, 2000. The couple settled in Rodman, where Mr. Merrill taught grades 4-6 in a two room schoolhouse, including his own children, Jerry and Judy. He was principal, janitor, coach and square dance teacher. He finished his teaching career in Adams Center, eventually retiring in 1970 after thirty- five years and more than 3,000 shattered squirt guns.
Mr. Merrill was drafted in 1944 at the age of 30 into the United States Army. He worked as an auto mechanic with HQ CO 7th Regt. in Kentucky.
Never one to be idle, he started a second career in 1960 forming the Merrill Insurance Agency in Rodman, providing property and causality insurance in Jefferson and Lewis Counties. His son Jerry joined “the firm” in 1977 and they worked side-by-side until 2007. Clients and friends remember Bob as always having a joke for every occasion and driving a car that could turn heads.
Mr. Merrill was a charter member of the Rodman Fire Department and served on the Board of Directors of the North Country Insurance Company for thirty years. He was a member of the Rodman United Church of Christ and was also an 86 year member of the South Rutland Valley Grange.
He is survived by a son, Jerry and his wife Patricia Merrill, Rodman; four grandchildren, Sara Girard, Ryan Gilmore, Robert S. Merrill, and Karin McMahon; nine great-grandchildren, Maxwell, Esme, Greta, Lincoln, Riley, Matthew, Carah, Kate and Lauren; a son-in-law, Carl Gilmore, NC and several nieces and nephews.
A daughter, Judy Gilmore, predeceased him in March 1991; one brother, Reginald “Jim” Merrill and one sister, Rosalyn Dietrich, also predeceased him.
Thanks to all who provided comfort in recent years, especially the staff of the Lewis County Residential Health Care Facility for their compassionate care.
Donations in his memory may be made to the Fairview Cemetery Association, c/o Lisa Worden, 22391 Williams Road, Rodman, NY 13682.
Condolences may be made at www.piddockfuneralhome.com.
Thursday, October 2, 2014, Watertown, NY
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