Charles P. Merritt, 84, of Racine, born in Seymour, Iowa, passed away on December 1, 2017 at home. Charles is survived by his loving wife, Esther; devoted children, Elaina (James) Geraghty, James Collins and Matthew (Jamie) Collins; treasured grandchildren, Faith, Grace and Daniel Geraghty, Nikolaos Collins, Halina and Dimitri Collins, Savannah and Dylan Hayek; and his beloved brother, Robert (Dixie) Merritt.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Iris, nee Hughes, and Harlie Merritt, his sister, Gwendolyn (Harold) Kimple, and brothers Harley (Ruth), and Donald (Gene) Merritt, and son George Collins. Charles is also survived by many loving nieces and nephews.
Charles was a member of Kimissis Tis Theotokou Greek Orthodox Church. Visitation will take place at Kimissis Tis Theotokou on Tuesday, beginning at 10 a.m. followed by the funeral service at 11 a.m. and entombment with full military honors at West Lawn Memorial Park.
Charles led a charmed and dignified life. After graduating from Seymour High School in 1951, he attended the University of Iowa and and earned a BS degree at Northeast Missouri State Teachers College. Charles was a lifelong athlete and fan, having played football for the University of Iowa and Northeast Missouri State teams, and semi-pro baseball in Unionville, Missouri. After serving in the US Marine Corp, he became a teacher and coach at Eagleville, Missouri High School and then Argyle, Iowa High School where he coached the girls’ basketball team to the Iowa State High School Championship.
Charles was an employee of J.I. Case for 31 years where he traveled extensively to Europe and Asia, which honed his appreciation for Asian culture, a love he shared with Esther. He spent his retirement sharing his stories, tending his roses and being with his grandchildren.
The family would like to thank St. Luke’s Cardiac Care team and Mary Johnson for years of expert care and loving support. In lieu of flowers, donations may made be made to Aurora Health Care Foundation for Heart Transplant, or Kimissis Tis Theotokou Greek Orthodox Church.