Andy Merritt, age 80, died peacefully Saturday, November 2 at E.T. York Haven Hospice Center several days after a fall. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Eleanor; son Kurt Merritt (Jan), daughter Karen Merritt (Elliot), son Glen Merritt (Monica) and three grandchildren, Sarah Merritt, Nathan Merritt, and Artimus Merritt.
He was born July 17, 1939 in Brockton, Massachusetts and grew up in nearby Rockland MA. He was a member of the Rockland Unitarian Church and was an active participant during his high school years.
Andy graduated from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana with a major in Geology in 1962 and that was where he and Eleanor met. They married after graduation and started Graduate School at the University of Illinois that Fall. He became interested in Civil Engineering when taking classes from a professor (Don U. Deere) who taught in both departments and ended up receiving a PhD in 1968 with a major in Geology and a minor in Civil Engineering.
A lifetime of adventure started with being hired by a Canadian engineering company to provide construction supervision during the construction of a large hydroelectric project (Churchill Falls) in northern remote Labrador. They moved there with two children under two and a third was born in Labrador. After two years in the frozen north Andy and family moved to a construction camp (Alto Anchicaya) in the tropical jungle rain forest in the northern Andes Mountains in western Colombia. Two more years passed working on this hydroelectric project with the added benefit of Andy becoming fluent in Spanish.
Soon after returning to civilization, Dr. Deere, who had moved to Gainesville FL, asked Andy to join him in a 2-man international consulting firm in Geology and Rock Mechanics and Andy said Yes. He and his family moved to Gainesville in 1973 and for the next 35 years dams and tunnels became his life. In 1981 he founded Andrew H. Merritt Inc. and continued to work for The World Bank, The Inter-American Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and numerous international contractors.
Andy worked in 43 countries from Nepal to Malawi to Indonesia to Turkey to Lesotho to Colombia on hydroelectric projects and he did lament in later years that he had never gotten to Iceland. He suffered a major stroke in 2008 which ended his adventurous travels.
If one wishes to honor Andy's life with a donation, please donate to the American Friends Service Committee or to a charity of your choice
A Celebration of Life will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, November 23, 2019 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at 4225 NW 34th Street. All who have known Andy or have known of Andy are welcome and please feel free to speak of your memories. Please visit his memorial page at
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