John Michael Merritt, Sr., 63, passed away peacefully on March 8, 2020 surrounded by family. Until the end, John showed us the way with his spirit, love and determination.
John Michael Merritt, Sr. was born in Seaford, DE to Albert S Merritt, Jr. & Patricia Breuil Merritt on May 30, 1956. John’s early years were that of being a military dependent, where every few years the family would be transferred to a new base. Having to acclimate to a new school and surroundings, he was good at making new friends. This process continued over 11 transfers and 9 schools. John was adept, enjoyed and played multiple sports, including baseball, basketball and bowling. The multiple transfers moved him around, all over the US, from Maryland (Eldorado, Rock Hall, Cockeysville, Tolchester and Aberdeen) to Alaska (Fort Greely) which included a 3500 mile road trip from Maryland to Alaska and a character building trip with three kids, a dog and two parents in a Rambler station wagon. After Alaska was the first time to Texas, where the family was transferred in and out multiple times, being at Fort Bliss twice, Biggs Field and El Paso proper. Before moving out on his own, the last stop was Colorado Springs. During all this time, his passions included sports, motor bikes and music.
He continued his wandering ways with stops in Maryland (Ocean City), New Mexico (Las Cruces several times, Albuquerque and Edgewood), Texas (Dallas) and finally Colorado (Loveland, Ft Lupton and Frederick). During this time, he was mostly involved in every aspect of the construction industry. Then he was blessed with the joy of his two children, John (JJ) Michael Merritt, Jr. in 1980 (Dallas) and Amanda Elisabeth Merritt in 1988 (Edgewood). John was fully involved and immersed in their lives from the start. He was a mentor, guide, coach and an inspiration to them, and would do or sacrifice anything for them.
1992 was a pivotal time in John’s life. While getting closer to family, he heard the call and gave his life to Jesus Christ, while fulfilling a promise to his dad to attend church. Moving away from his wilder side, saw him finding God and his spirituality. He picked up the guitar and was inspired by faith and worship music. He dove in, becoming accomplished at guitar and strong in voice. This he carried true all the way till the end.
Another blessing for John is the day Kathleen Feeney Merritt came into his life. They were amazing together, a true match that made each other better and, when together, were an incredible caring and loving couple. They gave their vows not once but twice on 7 November 2013 and 25 January 2014. All their family units melded into one, and John was caring, supportive, and a spiritual and loving force to a very large circle of children and grandchildren.
John Michael Merritt Sr. was preceded in death by his father, LtC (Ret) Albert S. Merritt Jr.
Mr. Merritt is survived by his beloved wife, Kathleen, his two children: John Jr. (JJ) and Amanda, four grandchildren: Jonathan, Kandice, Melanie and Jordan, his mother Patricia Breuil, and his two brothers: Ken and Bob.
John Michael Merritt Sr. was loved by all. He was a loving, caring, generous, social, very outgoing, God serving man. He loved most of all the Lord, his family and his church. He enjoyed playing his guitars and singing praise and worship music. He loved telling jokes, watching sports, and his inner child loved interacting with children. He had a great impact on everyone he met and was proud of everyone he cherished. Husband, Dad, Grandpa (‘Papi’), Son, Friend you will always be missed but never forgotten. Your memory will live in our hearts forever.
John’s Celebration of Life Service was held March 16, 2020 at Crossroads Church located in Loveland, CO.