Born in Petoskey on June 15, 1946, Merritt grew up near Indian River with his loving mother Joy, grandparents Clark and Mary Most, and cousin Mary Carol.
Merritt graduated from Indian River High School and North Central Michigan College with an associates degree before transferring to Western Michigan University part time.
Starting at age 19, Merritt owned his own tractor trailer semi and drove for Mayflower moving furniture across the U.S. He commercial fished off the shores of Alaska, worked in construction, and managed Lee’s Sports in Kalamazoo.
Merritt’s love of nature and the outdoors began at an early age, increased through Boy Scouts and travels west with his mother, Uncle Clark and Aunt Nancy, and continued his entire life.
After working multiple jobs, Merritt’s love of nature took him to Michigan Technological University where he graduated with a degree in Forest Management and Land Surveying. Upon graduation he was hired by Gove Associates as a project surveyor then transitioned to the City of Three Rivers where he dedicatedly served as Engineering Assistant, Forester and City planner for over 30 years.
Even with his heavy workload, Merritt found time for home remodeling and kayaking with friends, especially his annual men’s whitewater trips. He enjoyed gardening, canning, woodworking, reading, splitting wood and spending time at Windwood, his beloved childhood home.
Merritt loved words and never missed an opportunity to throw out a timely pun or Latin name. He had a special talent of connecting people with others and always had time to share his vast knowledge or help a friend. We will always miss his beautiful singing and the “timber” of his voice. A mighty Quercus alba (white oak) has fallen.
Merritt is survived by his wife of 43 years, Mary (McNally); his cousins, Mary Carol McKinney (John), Willard Howe, Clark Most III (Lynne), and Cynthia Dittmer (Greg); and several extended family and friends.
A memorial service will be held at a later date with interment of cremains in Schoolcraft Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to the American Lung Association, the Michigan Nature Association or the Arbor Day Foundation. Envelopes are available at Hohner Funeral Home in care of arrangements.