Dad passed away peacefully today, without pain or fear, after a long, healthy life, with loved ones around him. We are so thankful for his long life of excellent health, slowed down for the past several years only by advancing age.
Dad was born in Philadelphia as World War I was just beginning. He had a difficult childhood, losing both of his parents to meningitis before reaching the age of 10. Thankfully, a kindly aunt took him in and raised him as her own. Unfortunately, though, due to the calamity that was the Great Depression, he had to quit school in the 9th grade to go to work, as many in his generation did. He was drafted into the Army Air Corps at the dawn of World War II, but was honorably discharged during basic training due to a serious illness (from which he recovered, thankfully). He then went to business school for bookkeeping and accounting, and had a successful career working for a variety of employers. His best working situation was the last one, from which he retired – the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, where he oversaw their accounting for many years. He retired in 1983.
Sadly, only 3 years later, his beloved wife Irene suffered a massive stroke, and their retirement was cut short. Yet he remained steadfastly devoted to our Mom during the 11 years of her illness, until her passing in 1997. He moved here to Raleigh in 1999 to be closer to us. A few years later, he went back to the Philadelphia area briefly to help his brother John at the end of John's life, returning to Raleigh a few short months later after John's passing.
Our Dad was what many might call a "character", or even "eccentric", with a very unique (and at times, a bit frustrating) take on life. But he gave us many things – most notably a love of good food and beautiful music, and a wonderful example of a devoted spouse that we try to live up to every day. He had a great sense of humor, which fortunately, we inherited – for without humor, life would surely be bleak indeed. We loved him dearly and deeply.
Left to cherish his memory are son Edward (Ed) Mergel Jr. and wife Hitomi, daughter Margaret (Meg) Segal and husband Matt, granddaughter Maria Williams and husband Jeff, along with many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
With all our hearts, we thank everyone at Springmoor Life Care Community, where Dad spent 13 wonderful years, and Capital Nursing and Rehab, where he spent his final 3 months. Both of these fine facilities took excellent care of him, and helped us give him a great quality of life.
Interment will be private, at Forest Hills Cemetery in Huntingdon Valley, PA, at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in his memory to the Springmoor Endowment Fund, 812 Springmoor Drive, Raleigh, NC 27615.
Condolences may be sent through: www.brownwynnecary.com