December 11, 1944 — July 18, 2019 GLENS FALLS — Robert J. Merrill, 74, passed away at home on July 18, 2019, following a courageous battle with Alzheimers Disease.
Born Dec. 11, 1944 in Glens Falls, he was the son of the late Robert and Elizabeth Merrill of Hudson Falls.
Bob grew up on Long Island and graduated from Elmont Memorial High School. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and proudly served his country in the Vietnam War. After returning to Glens Falls, Bob met his wife, Suzanne, to whom he was happily married for 49 years.
Bob worked most of his life in the auto industry. During his time as general manager of Glens Falls Toyota, he also served as president of the Glens Falls New Car Dealers Association and the New York State Toyota Dealers Association. He later founded Merrill Automotive, a family business he operated in Glens Falls for many years. He was tremendously grateful for his faithful employees and loyal customers.
Bob was a consummate family man. Sports were a central theme; he was a fierce competitor and a passionate fan. A long-time member of the YMCA, he played racquetball daily for decades and continued to work with a committed personal trainer throughout his illness. Although he had never skated, he developed a strong love for the game of hockey. As president of Adirondack Youth Hockey, he was a driving force in the construction of Fire Road Rink, greatly supporting the growth of the game in the area. His own backyard rink served as the scene of many unforgettable winter nights. Over the years, tournaments and road trips provided countless adventures and cemented lifelong friendships.
Summer days spent on Lake George were a source of incredible joy for Bob. Swimming, boating or cliff jumping, he always led the charge. He never let a Fourth of July pass without spectacular fireworks and proper celebration. His love for the lake has been passed on to the next generation and will remain a cherished gathering place for many years to come.
Nothing brought Bob more joy than being a grandfather, a role he embraced with great enthusiasm. He was a warm and nurturing force, encouraging the kids to be fearless in their pursuits.
Bob is survived by his devoted wife, Suzanne Pesez Merrill; three children, Elizabeth and husband, Daniel Cherniske, of Fairfield, Connecticut, Robert and wife, Lindsey Merrill, of Hingham, Massachusetts and Kate and her husband, David Curry, of Wayne, Pennsylvania; 10 beloved grandchildren, Lily, Claire and Molly Cherniske, Ben, Sawyer, Ryan and Tess Merrill and Teddy, Mimi and George Curry; and his sisters, Kathleen Fragassi and Cynthia Merrill. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Mary Pesez-Kames; brother-in-law, Joe Kames; sister-in-law, Frances Pesez; many cousins, especially Michael and wife, Ellen Murphy; along with many adored nieces and nephews.
The family will be greeting friends and relatives from 4 to 6 p.m. on Friday, July 26, at Singleton Sullivan Potter Funeral Home, 407 Bay Road, Queensbury.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 27, at St. Mary’s Church, 62 Warren St., Glens Falls.
Heartfelt thanks to Bob’s dedicated caregivers, Sherry and Michael Cleveland, Terry Harrington and Bernie Sipowicz, the staff at Fort Hudson Social Program, the Visiting Nurses Association and the Community Health Assessment professionals, all of whom provided loving care to Bob.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Bob’s memory to the Alzheimers Association of New York, 4 Pine West Plaza #405, Albany, NY 12205.