Fred J. Merrill ’43-2

SACO – Fred J. “Shag” Merrill, 93, of Saco, died peacefully at his home on April 2, 2016. Born on Nov. 10, 1922, the son of Fred and Ella (Ahern) Merrill, Fred was raised in South Portland. Jacqueline, his wife of 57 years, predeceased him in 2013. Fred lived and raised his family in Portland, before splitting his time between Old Orchard Beach and Naples, Fla. in retirement. Most recently he resided at Atlantic Heights in Saco.

Fred graduated from South Portland High School and the Maine Maritime Academy. Upon graduation from MMA, he proudly served in the United States Navy. As a Lieutenant, he was an engineer aboard a refueling ship during the Pacific Campaign in World War II. Upon his return, he worked for Central Maine Power Company before joining his brother, Paul, at PJ Merrill Seafood where he worked until his retirement in 1985. After his retirement, Fred obtained a real estate license and worked as a property manager at Pine Point Vista in Old Orchard Beach, where he and Jackie lived for 26 years.

During his entire adult life, Fred was always busy, whether at work or at home. Even in retirement, Fred was active in the community and spent countless hours with his friends and family. Fred had many lifelong relationships, especially with his dear friends Bridie and Chever Lydon. Fred loved to be outside working and “puttering,” spending time gardening at his children’s homes. He was a man of routine and had a regular schedule of visiting friends for lunch or gardening at Julie’s home in Scarborough or Greg’s home in Harpswell. Regardless of where he ended up on any given day, Fred made friends with neighbors and strangers alike. To his death, he would ask about the many people who he had met and befriended. He brought with him a positive attitude, responding to other’s achievements with, “Isn’t that great!” or “Oh boy!” Despite his failing health, he did not complain, and would tell you that he was, “fantastic” even when he was not. Fred was not one to burden anyone with his problems, but would lend an eager ear to listen and help others with theirs.

Fred had a passion for flower arranging. He volunteered over 2000 hours as a flower arranger at the Mercy Hospital Gift Shop. During his last few years there, he was in charge of selecting and ordering all the flowers for the hospital. He was highly regarded for the beautiful flower arrangements that were on display at the gift shop. Fred could always be counted on to bring the centerpiece at family gatherings. When in Florida, he was a regular volunteer with Habitat for Humanity.

Fred was predeceased by his parents; his wife Jackie E. (Brown), brothers Paul J. and Donald, sister Virginia A.; and son Stephen C. He is survived by his daughter, Julie A. and husband Timothy E. Robbins of Cape Elizabeth, his son Gregory F. and partner Kathleen Roche of Charlestown, Mass. and Harpswell, his son Richard J. of Santa Barbara, Calif.; grandchildren Gabriella A. and Evan J. of Cape Elizabeth; numerous nephews; and many dear friends.
Fred’s family would like to thank the staff of Atlantic Heights, especially Sharon Ylonen, who helped make his final days joyful and comfortable.

Visitation will be from 9:30-11:00 a.m., followed by a funeral service at 11:00 a.m., Friday, April 8 at the
Hobbs Funeral Home,
230 Cottage Road, South Portland. Condolences may be expressed online at

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Fred’s name to:
Maine Maritime Academy
Development Office
1 Pleasant St.
Castine ME 04420

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