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In loving memory of
John Francis Merli Jr
  • Passed away on January 18, 2022

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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.


Florida National Cemetery
6502 SW 102nd Avenue, Bushnell, FL 33513
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Date & Time:
February 4, 2022 at 12:30 PM

Florida National Cemetery
6502 SW 102nd Avenue, Bushnell, FL 33513
Get Driving Directions

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  1. Joseph T. Merli says:
    03 Feb 2022
    Johnny was not just my brother, he was my friend. I am so glad that we took our trip together to MT in 2020. For two weeks we cooked dinner, ate, talked about old times, and camped together every night at a different campsite across the US. We took my little dog with us and Johnny called him "Biter" the same way that he called me "Mox". We also took a camping trip together last summer in FL. Those two trips were priceless to me because I knew Johnny would not be around much longer. I am so glad that we had that time together. I will miss him very much.

  2. Joseh T. Merli says:
    03 Feb 2022
    Johnny was not just my brother. He was my friend. I am so glad that we took our trip to MT summer 2020. We spent two weeks together on the road and cooked and ate dinner and camped together every night, and talked about old times. Then we also had a great camping trip in FL this past summer. Those two trips with Johnny were priceless as I knew he would not be around much longer. I will miss him very much.

  3. Joseph Caponegro says:
    03 Feb 2022
    John was a great friend and neighbor to my parents. You will be dearly missed. My deepest condolences to his family.

  4. Beverly Mandell says:
    02 Feb 2022
    My sincerest condolences to The Merli family on the passing of John. I has not seen him in over 8 years, the last visit being his inviting us to one of his famous barbecues. He was truly the host with the most! I knew him before we both lived in Florida, actually as far back as 1986 while in Maryland. He was the bestest friend and when I bought my first townhouse he did much handiwork for me and would never let me pay him. I enjoyed his amazing sense of humor and love of meeting all people. I am so glad he reached out a few months ago by text and I truly thought he was on the mend. John, you will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved you. Rest In Peace my dear friend....

  5. John & Chris Neary says:
    02 Feb 2022
    Chris and I will miss his summer visits to Las Cruces, New Mexico. We always had lots of laughs during his visits - even got him to buy a cowboy hat one time trying to replace Brooklyn with the Southwest. Rest In Peace, our friend. XOXO j&c

  6. Melanie J Cook says:
    01 Feb 2022
    My condolences and prayers to John Patrick, Elizabeth, Jeannie, Chris and Joe, It has been many, many years since I saw Johnny but I remember him as a sweet and caring man. I am so glad that in later years, he was able to reconnect with his niece and nephew and his great nieces and nephews. Rest in peace, Johnny. I know we'll see each other in heaven.

  7. Jim Merli says:
    01 Feb 2022
    Uncle Johnny, you will be missed! Thank you for taking the time to visit with us in TN a few years back. It just seems like yesterday (September) that we were all eating ice cream with you in the Villages. My kids say that day was the best day of our whole vacation! I love you and can't wait to reunite with you in Glory...

  8. Harold and Gaynol Marsh says:
    01 Feb 2022
    John was a friendly and trusted neighbor. We will greatly miss his visits out back.
    Our thoughts and prayers go out to your family.

  9. The Bevan Family says:
    31 Jan 2022
    To the Merli Family,
    We are deeply sorry for your loss, and will be praying for you all.


    Brenda, Earl and Trisha Bevan

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