John Neal Merritt passed away at his home at Lake Limestone this past Tuesday, January 21, 2020, at 80 years of age.
A celebration of life with viewing is scheduled for Sunday, January 26th from 2:00-4:00 PM in the Groesbeck Funeral Home Chapel at 1215 E. Yeagua St., Groesbeck, Texas 76642.
John was born September 27, 1939 in Warren County, Ohio to Arlen William Merritt and Norma Ellen Merritt nee Bell. John moved to Texas with his family when he was eight years old and attended St. Elmo elementary school in Austin Texas. His family then moved to the Houston area where he attended Deady Junior High School.
John graduated from Milby High School in 1957. During his junior and senior year he participated in the R.O.T.C. and Civil Air Patrol. While in the Civil Air Patrol, he learned how to fly bi-planes at a small airport in Pearland, Texas. He attended the University of Houston Main Campus and studied architecture. John loved to fish both saltwater and freshwater, and enjoyed hunting and spending time outdoors. He was an Astros fan, never missing an opportunity to watch a game. If there wasn't an Astros game on, he would watch the Texas Rangers. John was also an avid reader, his favorite being historical fiction.
John owned several businesses in the Deer Park, La Porte and Pasadena areas, which included two Shell stations with convenience stores, co-owner of an auto repair shop and co-owned and managed a restaurant and bar. He was an active member of a service station dealer's association, representing service stations owners in the petroleum industry. He retired to Lake Limestone in 1999 where he lived for twenty years. His favorite pastime while retired was napping in his favorite recliner with a dog and a cat in his lap.
John is preceded in death by his parents and his brother, James Bryce Merritt.
He is survived by his first wife Miranne Womack Merritt, two daughters, Margaret Merritt Monthei and husband Gary and Lara Merritt Phillips and husband Robert, three grandchildren Sarah Finchum, Helena MacKay and Stephen Hughey, his current wife Joy Liabenow, step-daughters Crystal Watkins and Tracy Pierce, step-grandchildren Megan Watkins and Aiden Perez and his two sisters, Linda Clark and Sally Clark.