Robert Benjamin Merrick left us peacefully on the morning of September 28, 2016 after a long and eventful life. Bob was born on August 6, 1922 in Chicago, Illinois to Roy Cleasby Merrick and Edna Mae (Pouley) Merrick being the youngest of their five children (Richard, Hubert, MaryFran, Alice). All preceded him in death. He grew up on Saginaw Avenue and attended Hirsch High School with his future bride, Arline Elizabeth Forrer. He served during WWII as a navigator in the Army Air Corp flying "over the hump" of the Himalayas from India to China, as well as other transport missions throughout the South Pacific and Europe. On September 2, 1944 he and Arline married in Memphis, Tennessee , where he was stationed at the time. After the war he finished his Math/Engineering degree at Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. During this time their first two children, Robert Benjamin Jr. and Sandra Jean were born. In 1950 they relocated to California where Bob took a position at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (later to be named NASA) Ames Research Laboratory, Moffett Field, in Santa Clara where he worked in general aeronautics and the space program. His third and fourth children, Roy Stuart and Cynthia Louise were born while here in Santa Clara. The family took many long summer road trips to camp, discover our National Parks and to visit relatives in Chicago. In his time, Bob was a boxer, baseball coach, and accomplished bowler. After retiring from NASA, he and Arline moved to Lake Almanor where they enjoyed 22 years of golf, square dancing, and card playing with many new found friends. Bob was always a keen Bridge player. Winters were spent "snowbirding" in their 5th wheel trailer to warmer climates with most of the time spent in Cayucos. In later life they moved to Elk Grove Heritage Lakes for its lower elevation and proximity to family, and finally to Atria Covell Gardens in Davis. Wherever they lived, Bob and Arline gladly made new friends and found a church to call home. Bob's warm smile will be remembered by many.
Bob leaves behind his wife of 72 years , Arline; son Bob Merrick and his wife Sandee of Dubuque, IA, daughter Sandee Reynoldson of Jackson, MS, son Roy Merrick of West Sacramento, CA, daughter Cyndi Young and husband Keith of Woodland, CA; grandchildren Kelley Christianson (Dane), Sarah Till (Pat), Laura Merrick, Cory Reynoldson (Priscilla), Jamy Reynoldson (Tanya), Dan Merrick (Jamilah), Amanda McNicholas (Joe) and Neal Young (Michelle); and 15 great grandchildren.
A Service of Internment will be held at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery, 5810 Midway Road, Dixon, California, Friday November 4, 2016 at 11:00 A.M.
Friday, November 4, 2016
Sacramento Valley VA National Cemetery
5810 Midway Road
Dixon, CA 95620