Kenneth E. Merchant
Kenneth E. Merchant, 82, succumbed to Parkinson's Disease on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017 after a long illness. He was born in Concord, N.H. to Nelson and Florence (Clarke) Merchant and was the youngest of six children. Ken attended schools in N.H. and graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and later received a M.S.E. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He was recruited by Hamilton Standard Co. and was employed there until his retirement. Ken married his high school friend, Lois Ries, and they became parents to six beloved daughters. The family enjoyed many trips and other activities such as the Christmas Tree hunt. Besides his parents, Ken was predeceased by Lois and four of his five siblings: Richard, Robert, Roger and Barbara. He leaves his second wife, E. Mae Merchant; his brother, David Merchant and his wife, MaryAnn of Mich.; his six daughters, Barbara (Pat) Vacca of R.I., Nancy (Don) Shellhart of Ill., Susan (Rob) Thomas of Longmeadow, Elizabeth (Bill) Stearns of R.I., Laura Demakis of S. Hadley and Mary (John) Riemenschneider of Westfield; 13 grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, three step-children, six step-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. He will be missed by all who knew him. Calling hours will be held Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 at the Sampson's Chapel of the Acres, 21 Tinkham Rd., Springfield, Mass., from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. There will be a memorial service beginning at 4:30 p.m. Burial will be held in the spring at Hillcrest Park Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Ken's name may be made to the charity of one's choice. The family would like to thank Life Care of Wilbraham and the Hospice Staff for their care of Ken through his journey.
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