Joseph Charles “Joe” Merkle, 75, passed away on June 26, 2017, at his home in The Villages, Florida. Born in Camden, New Jersey, he was the son of the late Charles and Catherine (Newsham) Merkle.
Joe served in the Army Reserve from 1961-1967. He graduated from Philadelphia College of Bible in 1971 and went on to work as a minister for the next 12 years. He also worked for many years in the printing industry. He loved to be on the water and worked as captain of several cruise ships in addition to being a tugboat captain until May of 2017.
Joe loved to spend time with his family and friends. He enjoyed boating and fishing, and was also known for his beautiful voice. He loved the Lord and spoke often of God’s faithfulness. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Joe is survived by his companion and partner of 20 years, Dianne Bragg of The Villages and Panama City, FL, as well as his daughters Karen Kaminsky, Deborah Jackson, Joanne Campfield, son David Merkle, and daughter Kristen Cutforth. Joe is also survived by two brothers, two sisters, and two step brothers, in addition to 17 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren.
You’re invited to visit Joe’s memorial website at