John J. Merrill, 84, of Port Charlotte, Fla., passed away Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, at Harbour Health Center in Port Charlotte.
He was born March 6, 1928, in Bronx, N.Y., to Thomas and Jane (nee McGrath) Merrill.
John moved to this area 38 years ago from East Meadow, Long Island, N.Y. He worked as a detective for the Nassau County Police Department, where he worked on a Special Ops Team protecting dignitaries such as Presidents Nixon and Johnson, and celebrities such as Robert Redford, before retiring in January 1975. John taught history for 10 years at Charlotte High School. He was a member of the Fraternal Order of Police, the BPOE and the American Legion. John also played professional baseball for the Brooklyn Dodgers, was Captain of the Fishermen’s Village Tennis Team, was President of the Tarpons Booster Club, and served as Deputy Sheriff with the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office. He was a veteran of the Korean War, serving in the U.S. Army. John was a member of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, where he served as Lay Eucharistic Minister.
He is survived by his son, John J. (Margaret) Merrill Jr. of Knoxville, Tenn., and Lake Placid, Fla.; daughter, Patricia (Jim) Gedra of Fort Myers, Fla.; and seven granddaughters.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, 2012, at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, 21505 Augusta Ave., Port Charlotte. Entombment will follow at Restlawn Memorial Gardens in Port Charlotte. Please visit John’s tribute wall at www.schelmfh.com to share memories and to send condolences to the Merrill family. Preferred donations may be made in loving memory of John to Charlotte High School, John Merrill Scholarship Fund, 1250 Cooper St., Punta Gorda, FL 33950.
Arrangements are by Paul Schelm Funeral Home, Lake Suzy, Fla.