KINGSTON — Paul W. "Pepper" Merrill II, of Kingston, passed away Monday afternoon, July 7, 2014, at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital.
Born on March 10, 1947, in Rumford, Maine, he was a son of Doris (Sadowski) Merrill, Nanticoke, and the late Paul W. Merrill. He was a graduate of Nanticoke High School, class of 1965, and had served as a class officer.
He excelled in sports, most notably on the football field, and was awarded the Student Athlete Award. Pepper was a graduate of Wilkes College in 1969 with a Bachelor of Science degree in commerce and finance. While at Wilkes, he played football as a defensive end, earning all MAC honors as a member of "The Fearsome Foursome" of the "Golden Horde." They were the awarded the Lambert Cup and Timmie Award and went on to win a national championship in 1969. He and his teammates have been inducted into the Wilkes Athletics Hall of Fame.
Mr. Merrill started his professional career with General Adjustment Bureau as an insurance adjuster working in several cities before establishing Merrill Associates, which he operated for more than 20 years in the Kingston area, retiring in 2001.
He was a lifelong member of St. John's Lutheran Church, Nanticoke, and attended the Trinity Lutheran Church in Titusville, Florida, where he and his mother maintained a winter home.
Pepper was a member of Nanticoke Lodge No. 332 Free and Accepted Masons, Caldwell Consistory in Bloomsburg and Irem Shriners, where he served on the Chanters, Provost and Antique and Classic Car units over the years. He was also an avid golfer at Irem and a member of their gun club.
He held social memberships at the Kingston VFW as well as the Black Diamond Post, American Legion. He was the first coach for the Nanticoke Mini Football program and had coached Little League baseball, youth soccer and softball in Kingston. He was also an avid Penn State fan and held season tickets.
He was preceded by his father, Paul W. Merrill, in 1982; and an infant brother, George.
Surviving, in addition to his mother, are his children, Heather Challenger, Eagleville, Pennsylvania, Paul W. Merrill III, Sunnyvale, California, and Toby Merrill and his wife, Susan, Blue Bell; and his grandchildren, Olivia and Emma Jane Merrill and Morgan Challenger.
A memorial service will be held at 1:45 p.m. Tuesday in St. John's Lutheran Church, 231 State St., Nanticoke, with Debra North, pastor, officiating. The family will receive friends at the church from 1 p.m. until the service begins.
If desired, contributions in Pepper's memory may be made to St. John's Lutheran Church, American Legion Black Diamond Post 395 or the Shriners Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Arrangements are under the direction of Davis-Dinelli Funeral Home, 170 E. Broad St., Nanticoke.