Richard E. Merrill Jr., 81, of Bristol
BRISTOL — Richard E. Merrill Jr. of Bristol, Vt., passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by family and friends, on Friday, July 17, 2020, after a long illness. He was born in Henniker, N.H., Nov. 7, 1938.
Dick was a First-Class Boy Scout and graduated from Stevens High School in Claremont, N.H., Class of 1957. He served as a Private First Class in the U.S. Army Reserves from 1956 to 1963. Dick was employed at Pratt & Whitney Aircraft located in East Hartford, Conn., for thirty-eight years. He was raised to Sublime Master Mason in 1987 in Manchester Lodge 73, Manchester, Conn. He was a member of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Burlington, a Noble of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine in Rutland, Vt., a Past Master of the Libanus Lodge 47 F.&A.M., a volunteer coordinator for Greater Middlebury and Greater Bristol Meals on Wheels, and a member of the Mini-Monster Unit of Cairo Temple. Dick was raised to the Right Worshipful District Deputy Grand Master for Vermont District 3.
Dick is survived by his significant other and soulmate Linda L. Hekkala. He was predeceased by his father, Richard E. Merrill Sr., and his mother, Myrtle (Crane) Merrill, as well as his two sons, Robert Merrill Wendus and Charles LaBonte Merrill.
He is survived by two sisters Elizabeth (Betty) Charland and spouse Thomas Charland, of Claremont, N.H., and Lynette Bangs and spouse Joseph Bangs, of San Antonio, Texas. Surviving children include son Michael Merrill Wendus and his wife Angela, son Robert LaBonte Merrill his wife Mary, and son Stephen LaBonte Merrill his wife Linda. He is survived by eight grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at the Libanus Masonic Lodge 47 located at 2 Elm Street, Bristol, Vt., at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 25, and is open to the public. Please bring a mask for services.
Family suggests memorials be made to the Libanus Lodge 47 Masonic Temple and/or the Eastern Star. To send online condolences to his family visit brownmcclayfuneralhomes.com.◊
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