Dr. Gerard F. Merla

Dr. Gerard F. Merla

AGE: 87 • Long Branch

Dr. Gerard F. Merla, 87 of Long Branch, died peacefully on Sunday, June 1, 2014. As were his wishes, he passed away in his family home where he was born and lived his entire life. His last days were surrounded by family and friends. Like his father before him, Dr. Merla was a well-respected dentist in the community. Dr. Merla opened his office in 1956 and practiced here for over fifty years. He was a lifelong parishioner of Holy Trinity Church of Christ the King Parish in Long Branch; a member of the Knights of Columbus in Long Branch and the Long Branch Elks Lodge 742. Dr. Merla was actively involved in many volunteer and professional organizations throughout his life. He served his country honorably in the US Army during World War II.

Dr. Merla graduated from Long Branch High School. He received his Bachelor's degree from Seton Hall University and graduated from the dental school at Temple University. Dr. Merla was on staff at Monmouth Medical Center.

"Doc" as he was affectionately known, will always be remembered as an intelligent, generous, and honorable man, who accomplished much and valued the simple things in life. He was dedicated to his work and family. He loved his home and yard and nothing was more important to him than spending time there with family and friends. His grandchildren were his pride and joy. "Doc" enjoyed golfing and thoroughbred racing. He spent many summer days at Monmouth Park where he also owed racehorses. He travelled extensively with his wife and friends. We can all be comforted knowing that he lived a great life.

Dr. Merla was predeceased by his loving wife Christa Merla in 2012, his parents Charles and Nellie Merla, and siblings Mary Clifford, Nunzio Merla, Charles Merla, Antoinette Huntley, and Adele Caputo. Surviving are his daughters, Mary Merla-Ramos and her husband Deron, Vera Moor and her husband John and Catherina Madormo; 3 grandchildren, Isabella Ramos, Antonio Ramos and Christa Moor and her husband William Clark and many nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held on Wednesday, June 4 from 4-8 pm at the Damiano Funeral Home, 191 Franklin Ave., (corner of Third Ave.), Long Branch. Funeral Thursday, 9:30 am at the funeral home followed by a 10:30 am Mass at Holy Trinity Church. Interment will follow at Mt. Carmel Cemetery in West Long Branch. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Vincent de Paul Society at Holy Trinity Church, 380 Division Street, Long Branch, NJ 07740 or Compassionate Care Hospice of Marlton, 600 Highland Drive, Suite 624, Westhampton, NJ 08060. The family invites you to write a letter of condolence at www.damianofuneralhome.com.

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Funeral Home

Damiano Funeral Home
191 Franklin Ave. Long Branch, NJ 07740
732-222-2312

Published in Asbury Park Press on June 3, 2014