Ronald Allen 'Ron' Merrill, 76

Ronald Allen “Ron” Merrill, 76, of Allegan, passed away Sunday, Sept. 16, at Briarwood Assisted Living surrounded by family. Born March 9, 1942, in Allegan, he was the son of the late Floyd and Mildred (VanKeuren) Merrill and was the husband of Joyce (Bowditch) Merrill. 

Ron was a graduate of Wayland High School. He went on to earn his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Western Michigan University, even though he was an avid fan of University of Michigan athletics. 

Ron dedicated his working life to enriching the lives of young students as a teacher, athletic director and coach at Martin Public Schools. He also taught drivers education, both through the school system and at Century Driving School.

Ron’s commitment to athletics in Martin was truly remarkable and there was likely no sport that he did not coach at some point during his tenure. One of the many highlights of his career came during the 1996 and 1997 school year when he was the co-director of the MHSAA State Wrestling Finals. Ron was also proud to have been inducted into the Martin Hall of Fame for his years of service to the community.

He was a member of the Kentwood Community Church, and was also actively involved in Winding Creek Camp in Hastings. Ron had a fun-loving spirit and always had a joke, one-liner or story to share.

Ron loved spending time with his family and will be remembered as a caring husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend to many. 

Above all else, Ron loved his Lord and Savior, and his faith made him the man he was.

In addition to his wife of nearly 52 years, Mr. Merrill is survived by his children, Robert “Rob” Merrill and wife Jennie, Jennifer Lawson and Jaclyn Johnston and husband Jake; a sister Mary Merrill; seven grandchildren, Jacob Merrill, Sally Merrill, MaKayla Lawson, Marvin Lawson, Megan Johnston, Macy Johnston and Matthew Johnston; several brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law; and many nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends at Gorden Funeral Residence, Allegan Chapel, on Thursday, Sept. 20, from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 6 to 8 p.m. A funeral service will be at Kentwood Community Church, 1200 60th St. SE, Kentwood, on Friday, Sept. 21, at 11 a.m. with visitation for one hour prior to the service. Private committal services will be at Hudson Corners Cemetery, Allegan Township. 

Memorial donations may be made to the ALS Association West Michigan Chapter, 678 Front Ave., Suite 410, Grand Rapids, MI 49504; Winding Creek Camp, c/o Aileen Coffey, 161 Summit St., Allegan, MI 49010; or Hospice of Holland, 270 Hoover Boulevard, Holland, MI 49423.

Assisting the family with arrangements is Gorden Funeral Residence, Allegan Chapel,



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