Press "Enter" to skip to content


John “Jack” Dennis Merrill, 78, of Gloucester, died peacefully at home on Nov. 28, 2019 after battling cancer for one year.

Born on March 23, 1941 in Salisbury, Maryland, to Paul Hope Merrill and Thelma Mae (Burkey) Merrill, Jack outlived younger brother Michael Wayne and is survived by younger sister Thelma Mae. 

After being raised in the eastern U.S., he joined the U.S. Coast Guard at age 21. He graduated as a certified Physician Assistant from Duke University in 1976. He continued to serve in the Coast Guard for 25 years and retired as CWO-4. Jack continued his work as a PA until he was 75 years old.

Jack was a knowledgeable man with many skills and interests. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, and golfing. He used his artistic talents in woodcarving and painting, took art classes at a local college, and had work displayed at Gloucester Art Gallery. 

Jack loved his church family and was a longtime, faithful member at Bellamy United Methodist Church, where he sang bass in the choir, taught Bible study classes, served as lay leader and more.

Jack was a loving husband and father. He is survived by his beloved wife of 41 years, Nona K. (Elwood) Merrill; daughters, Melissa Sue (James) Netzel, Jane Elizabeth (Paul) Chaucer, Mary-Kathleen Merrill, Patricia Marie (Matthew) Morgan, Nicole Faith Merrill; son, Christopher Hope Merrill, and 11 grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at Bellamy United Methodist Church, 4870 Chestnut Fork Road, Gloucester on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 11 a.m. Inurnment will take place in the spring at Albert G. Horton Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery in Suffolk.

Jack’s desire was that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Bellamy UMC. Andrews Funeral Home & Crematory, Gloucester, is in charge.