Richard John Merrow, of Yarmouthport, Massachusetts, passed away Monday October 14 in his home. The son of Oscar Earl Merrow and Helen Higgins Merrow, he was born March 1923 in Lawrence, MA, and grew up in Winchester, MA. There he met and eventually married Joan Howard Moffette, a marriage which produced four children and lasted 55 years until her death in 2000.
Richard was preceded in death by his wife, and by his daughter, Jane Elizabeth Merrow. He leaves behind his other children, Peter Howard Merrow of Raymond NH, Sarah Beatrice Merrow of Baltimore, and Thomas Henry Merrow of Francestown, NH, as well as four grandchildren and one great grandchild.
He attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned bachelor’s degrees in meteorology and business & engineering management. His college career was bisected by service as a lieutenant in the Army Air Corps during World War II, when he provided meteorological services at fighter pilot training bases in Florida, Panama, and Alabama. He received an honorable discharge in 1946.
After the war he worked for Whiting Milk Company and MIT’s Flight Control Lab, before beginning a productive, 30-year career at Raytheon Company. He supervised lab services for their Research Division for 15 years and held a progression of other positions culminating in that of corporate director of health and safety, overseeing industrial hygiene and safety practices at 69 facilities around the world. In this role he improved health and safety practices for Raytheon’s entire workforce.
An active outdoorsman, he was a longtime member of the Appalachian Mountain Club, for whom he led hiking trips and chaired the volunteer committee charged with operating the Club’s Three Mile Island Camp on Lake Winnipesaukee. He also led his family on hiking trips and together they earned the club’s 4000-footer badge for climbing all the mountains above that elevation in New England. At the time of reaching this mark, his six-year-old daughter Sarah was the youngest ever to do so. He introduced his family to skiing, and they spent many weekends over a period of several years skiing and hiking from his parents’ vacation home in Tuftonboro Corner, NH, and the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Cold River Camp.
Richard was also an accomplished sailor, having built a Snipe class sloop in his parent’s garage as a youth, and raced a 210-class sloop at Eastern Point Yacht Club in Gloucester, MA, for many years, before taking up sail cruising in retirement.
After living in Winchester, MA for most of his career, Richard and Joan retired and moved to East Sandwich, MA, and later Yarmouthport, MA. They traveled extensively, he held leadership positions in their condominium associations, and they were active church goers.
A funeral Mass will be held 11 am Monday, October 21, at Our Lady of the Cape Church, Stony Brook Road, Brewster, MA 026321. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the human relief organizations of your choice.