Dr. Paul Merritt, a long time resident of Potsdam and Canton, passed away Sunday, September 26, 2010 at the United Helpers Maplewood Facility in Canton.
Paul was born in Watertown, October 23, 1920. He was the son of Thomas H. and Myrtle (Brady) Merritt. After graduating from Watertown High, Paul attended State College for Teachers at Albany where he met his future wife, Shirley Coddington. He received his A.B. and his M.A. in Chemistry and Secondary School Administration at SCT Albany. He then went to RPI for his Ph.D. in Analytical Inorganic Chemistry. He began his teaching career at RPI teaching from 1948-1954.
Paul taught at St. Lawrence University from 1954 to 1963 and then went to SUNY Potsdam where he taught from 1963 until his retirement. Paul wrote many articles on Chemistry and published a textbook in 1964. After his family, teaching was his main love. He inspired many students throughout his career.
Paul was very involved in the Navy. He took a break in his college education to serve in the Korean War from 1943-1946 as an officer on the USS Cimarron. He retired from the Navy with the rank of Commander and served many years in the Naval Reserve.
Paul was also very active in the Methodist Church. He was a District Lay Leader and Lay Speaker traveling to little congregations around the North Country to do Sunday Sermons.
Paul was always looking to help out in any community activity. His statement of Philosophy of Community Service sums this up:
“My philosophy toward community service can be stated very simply. I consider myself a member of the community where I live and work therefore, when I am asked to do something within the community that is within my capability, I get it done. Each time I hope that the community is better because I have been a participant in the current project.”
He was a member of Rotary International and served as District Governor of District 7040 from 1977-1978. He was a Paul Harris Fellow.
Paul was a very busy man at home, as well. He married Shirley Coddington in Middletown, June 9, 1946. They adopted and raised three children, Kathy (partner Connie), Mark (wife Lauren), and Karyn (partner Jack) all who survive him. Shirley passed away January 8, 1983 after a short battle with cancer.
Paul began the second part of his life with Susanne (Cummings) Connick and they spent many happy years traveling the world and the North Country. Susanne also survives him.
Paul’s Committal Service will be at Bayside Cemetery, Saturday, October 2, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. with the Reverend Calvin Zimmer presiding. There will be a celebration of his life from 1-3 p.m. at Partridge Knoll in Canton, also on Saturday.
Memorial contributions in his memory may be made to American Cancer Society, Hope Lodge, 237 East Avenue, Burlington, VT 05401.
Arrangements are with the Seymour Funeral Home in Potsdam.