Merle B. SmithOctober 01,2012
Merle B. Smith
Merle B. Smith
GROTON — Merle B. Smith, 85, passed away peacefully on Sept. 28, 2012, at Berlin Health and Rehabilitation Center, in the loving care of his daughter-in-law, Mary Smith. He was born in Plainfield, on June 6, 1927, the son of Arthur Smith and Hazel Baker.
After graduating from Spaulding High School and proceeding to the Coyne Electrical School in Chicago, Merle attended the Milwaukee School of Engineering. He then served in the U.S. Navy, and worked in Barre for the Rome News Co. and Bryant & Dailey Co. He began his career in the residential building industry in 1955. Merle found his passion in building homes.
As a master plumber and a master electrician, Merle designed and built many custom homes from the ground up, without hiring subcontractors or architects. Merle’s happiest times were working side by side with his son, Dana; the two built countless houses together after partnering up in 1990. A true lover of his work, Merle continued working until the time of his death.
In addition to his work, Merle enjoyed camping, boating, hunting and fishing in and around the Groton State Forest. He was an avid and accomplished swing dancer, earning him the nickname “Rubber Legs” and a television at a jitterbug dance competition. He still owns the nickname, but the television is long gone.
In recent years, Merle was devoted to caring for his wife, Lois, spending time with his two cats and picking wild blackberries. Prior to moving to Groton, Merle and Lois spent many years living in Plainfield.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Lois L. Smith; his brother, Willard Smith of Southern Pines, N.C.; his four children, Brenda Davis and her husband Richard of Northfield, Vt., Dwaine Smith and his wife Susan of Shelburne, Vt., Diane Dubberly and her husband Carl of Amherst, N.H., Dana Smith and his wife Mary of Groton, Vt.; numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren; and a couple of cats. He was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Marjorie Sullivan; his son, Dale Smith; and his grandson, Brian Davis.
His family invites his friends to join them at a casual luncheon and celebration of Merle’s life, which will be held at the Steak House Restaurant at 1239 U.S. Route 302 in Berlin on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012, at 2 p.m. There will be no calling hours.
Honoring Merle’s preference, please do not send flowers. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Lung Association, 372 Hurricane Lane, Suite 101, Williston, VT 05495. For those wishing to express online condolences, they may do so at www.guareandsons.com.
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