John Francis Merli, Jr., age 78, of the Villages, Florida, passed away peacefully at his home on January 17, 2022. John will join his parents, John F. Merli and Jeanne Aurelia Lopez Merli, in heaven. Born in Brooklyn, New York, he graduated from St. Augustine High School and then later State University of New York Cobleskill. He served in the U.S. Army National Guard and honorably discharged as a Sergeant. He married, started a family, and made a career in sales, including insurance sales, cargo sales with Korean Air, and later merchant services with many small businesses.
John is survived by his son, John Patrick and his wife Alejandra, of California, and daughter Elizabeth Ainsworth, of Snow Hill, Maryland. His four grandchildren include Oliver, Matthew, Nicolas, and Tatum. John was the oldest of four siblings and is survived by his sister Jeannie Lupo and brother-in-law Frank, Francis Xavier “Frisky,” and Joseph T. “Mox” and sister-in-law Linda, with numerous nieces and nephews to include as family. Aside from his immediate and extended family, John’s legacy also includes innumerable friends over the miles and years.
John loved the outdoors, including boating and bicycling in his younger days, and metal detecting, fishing, camping and traveling right up to the end. His barbecues were masterful entertainment and presentation, always served hot and to perfection. He was a hard worker, and hard to keep up with.
Proud of his country, loyal to God, and dedicated to his family and friends, John succumbed to heart failure, having fought a failing heart to the end. A service is to be held with military honors at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida this Friday, February 4, 2022, at 12:30 p.m., and is open to all his family, friends and acquaintances.