Terry Merritt, 81, of Pinehurst, formerly of Apalachin, N.Y., died peacefully in his home Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020, after a courageous 7-year battle with ALS.
Terry is survived by his wife, Kathy (Lutz) Merritt; daughter Terri Merritt-Worden (G Lee Worden) of Nashville, Tenn.; son Tim Merritt (Jackie Blair Merritt), of Chandler, Ariz.; three grand-children, Emma, Lily and Aiden; sister-in-law, Dorla Merritt, of Rome, Pa.; brother-in-law, Harry Lutz (Barbara), of Allentown, Pa.
He was pre-deceased by his father, Charles Merritt, formerly of Little Meadows, Pa.; mother, Vivian Merritt; and brother, Charles Richard (Dick) Merritt.
Terry was a graduate of Vestal High School, Vestal, N.Y., and Springfield College. He started his teaching and coaching career at Maine Endwell Schools and was a teacher and coach at Vestal Central schools for the rest of his 30-year career. An accomplished athlete for decades, he was recognized as a NYS Section 4 high school wrestling champion; Springfield College All-American cross-country runner; Southern Tier amateur golfer and Master’s runner.
In retirement, he and Kathy moved to Pinehurst, to pursue his passion for golf. He always had a love for the outdoors and hunting and sport dogs. This evolved to training and field trialing English setters, and he established Merritt’s English Setters Kennel and Farm in Jackson Springs.
Terry was a renaissance man. An excellent woodworker, he built several homes and created pieces of fine furniture. His drive and focus were legendary. Be it marathon running, golf, hunting or championship English setter breeding and training, once Terry set his mind on a goal his passion would lead him to ultimate success. He was a beloved and involved grandfather. All three grandchildren grew up with a love of sports, animals and the outdoors that he inspired and nurtured with many vacations spent at his dog kennels, at the beach or on the golf course. He even taught them all to drive well in advance of the legal age requirement!
A celebration for life for family members will be held at a future date.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Moore Free and Charitable Clinic, 211 Trimble Plant Rd, Southern Pines, NC 28387 or https://moorefreecare.org/donations.
Online condolences may be left at www.bolesfuneralhome.com
Services are entrusted to Boles Funeral Home of Pinehurst.