David J. Merrill, 79, of South Burlington, passed away on Saturday March 3, 2018 at Respite House in Colchester surrounded by his loving family and his dog Pacie. A 9th generation Vermonter he was born on April 7, 1938 in Burlington son of Nathan E. and Margaret E. Merrill. David attended Central School (where his mother was principal) and Burlington High School, Class of 1956, where he played baseball for Orrie Jay. David then went on to attend the University of Vermont, Class of 1961.
He was married to Kendra Day from Rutland on January 19, 1963. David was predeceased by Kendra, his wife of 51 years, on July 30, 2014.
David is survived by his sons Nathan (Allison Langlois) Merrill, their children Brandon, Shawnae, Caleb, Cody, Owen, Seth (Francesca Creta) Merrill, their son, Davide, brother Duane (Carol) Merrill, sister Ann Merrill-Griswold (Robert Griswold), and many nieces, nephews and cousins that he had a special connection with. David’s parents and sister Martha Scanlon predeceased him.
David was raised in the antique business and became a very knowledgeable picker. During his college years and throughout his early marriage he traveled the Northeast and Canada finding rare pieces and going to antique shows.
During and after graduation from UVM David worked as a surveyor on Interstate 89 and the Burlington Breakwater. He spent many winters working as a ski instructor at Killington and then Stowe. He loved skiing and spoke very fondly of those times in his later years. In 1953 David helped his parents build the Ethan Allen Motor Lodge on Williston Road. He spent 65 years as an operator and then owner of the motel. David made many friends with his ability to listen. Through his peaceful, gentle and generous heart he helped many.
David was passionate about deer hunting. He would take time off in the fall to hunt spending time in Southern Vermont and Northern Maine with family and friends. During the summers he could be found on the 3rd base side near the bullpen of almost all Lake Monsters Games.
David had Muscular Dystrophy. He never let it affect his attitude towards life or others. He woke up every day and went to work with a positive attitude towards life. David had the ability to enlighten a situation with a few simple kind words.
The family wishes to thank all of the caregivers and Dr. Ziegelman for his excellent care.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, 1 Marcus Boulevard #203, Albany, NY 12205. The family will hold a celebration of David’s life on Saturday April 7, 2018 from1:00 – 4:00 p.m. with a time of reflection at 4:00 p.m. for all those who choose, to share a story of David at A W Rich Funeral Home – Essex Chapel, 57 Main Street, Essex Junction, VT 05452. The family invites you to share your memories and condolences by visiting www.awrfh.com.