Virgil D. Merritt
Virgil Merritt Virgil Dean Merritt, 82, of Naples, Fla., born Sept. 29, 1934 in Taylorville, Ill., passed away Feb. 4, 2017 at home surrounded by family. Dean was the son of parents, who owned motion picture theaters, and a business that was named Dean's Potato Chips. He was active in sports, participating in three sports and becoming a member of the Taylorville High School Hall of Fame. Dean was a US Army veteran who served in the Sixth Armored Division, Finance Corps and Special Services, as a motion picture projectionist supervisor. He graduated from Millikin University and obtained two advanced degrees from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, Ill. He was a teacher and counselor at Belleville West High School, Belleville, Illinois for twenty three years, a counselor at Lehigh High School, Lehigh Acres, Fla., for two years, and a counselor at Barron Collier High School, Naples, Fla. for one year. Prior to becoming an educator, he was a claims adjustor and supervisor for Aetna Insurance Company. He was a member of the Elks Club 2010 of Naples, Florida and a former member of the Masonic Lodge in Litchfield, Ill. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Naples, Florida, and was also a Deacon and Elder of the First Presbyterian Church of Belleville, Ill. But to know Dean as a man, one must look to the impact on the youth in his charge as an educator, where he was found to be an honest, good, kind, fair, strong, and compassionate person. He loved life and everything it had to offer. He was devoted to his loving family and friends, and he would like to leave life thinking that he made a difference by expecting the best one had to offer in every aspect of life. As a cornerstone to his life, he enjoyed helping others, and in seeing the progress they made throughout life. He strived to lead his family to have a productive quality of life and to surround themselves with a faith of their choice. "He will live on through the people he touched." Dean was preceded in death by his loving wife Fayeann in 2005. Surviving are his wife, Grace Bucarelli-Merritt; his son and daughter, Clayton (Amy) Merritt and Heather Merritt; his grandchildren, Alyssa, Sean Patrick, Ruth, Bailey, Conner; a step-daughter, Claudia (Robert) Russell; step-grandchildren, Cody and Megan Gibbs, Sarah, Alexandra, and Isabella Russell; and two nieces, Yolynda (Roy) Conrad and Lesley Beth Fassero. Condolences may be expressed online at www.lakeviewfuneralhm.com . Funeral: A private chapel service will be held with family at 10 a.m. Monday, Feb. 13, 2017 followed by an open graveside service at 10:30 a.m. at Lake View Memorial Gardens and Funeral Home, Fairview Heights, Ill. LAKE VIEW FUNERAL HOME, Fairview Heights, Ill.
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