Lee J. Merrick, 95, of Andover Road, passed away on Thursday, March 18, 2021 at Jones Memorial Hospital, after a long illness. He was born the son of the late Lee H. and Ida Mae (Gibson) Merrick on May 1, 1925 in Wellsville. On October 25, 1947 he married his wife of seventy-three years, Ruth E. Allen, who predeceased him on February 4, 2021.
Lee was a true character. He was a long time resident of Wellsville, who lived in Orlando, FL for a time before moving back to Wellsville for the last fifteen years. He was a U.S. Navy veteran, and served from 1943 – 1946. He was also a member of the Cardinal Pistol Club, and a life member of the NRA. He won the NYS indoor Pistol championship two years in a row but also shot and won at Camp Perry. He owned and flew his own airplane at the Wellsville Municipal Airport on Bolivar Road. Professionally, Lee owned and operated Lee’s Hodaka on the Andover Road, his store would later be called Lee’s Guns and Ammo. He also worked as an Engineer at Air Preheater, he held many patents and worked on many government projects, including NASA, retiring in the early 1980s. In his early days he enjoyed driving and working on race cars, and raced on Fair Street, and in Cuba. He also enjoyed coin collecting, boating – even owned several on Lake Erie and (later) in Florida. He was a member of the American Legion Post #702 and Wellsville Moose Lodge #601, and the Odd Fellows.
He is survived by: four children, William Merrick of Wellsville, Sandra Merrick of Wellsville, Carol (Joseph) Schweigart of Bolivar, and Lisa (Paul) Rowe of Wellsville; eleven grandchildren; fifteen great-grandchildren; four great-great grandchildren; a brother-in-law, Charles (Susan) Allen of Lima, NY; and several nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents and wife, he was predeceased by: three sisters; and two brothers.
A memorial service is being planned for a later date. Burial will be at Woodlawn Cemetery with full military honors. Please consider memorial donations to the SPCA Serving Allegany County. To leave online condolences please visit www.embserfuneralhome.com.