Obituary for Fred R. Merrill
Fred R. Merrill passed away March 16, 1976 at his home at 105 Edwin Avenue, Colon, Michigan. He was 87. He was born in Manchester, New Hampshire on August 18, 1888, a son of Ernest and Athanaise Rajotte. There were 5 girls and 4 boys in the family.
He was associated with show business all his life. In early years the Merrill Brothers Company toured during the vaudeville era, playing the mighty Hippodrome during its height of fame. He was an expert juggler. He was also an advance booker in New York. For many years he served as advance publicity man for the Blackstone Show.
He was married to Caroline Hensel on January 3, 1925 in Covington, Kentucky,
The Merrills moved to Colon in 1935. Fred was employed at the Abbott Magic Company for 32 years and his wife for 23 years. They retired in 1967.
Many who have attended the Magic Get-Togethers remember Fred and Caroline and their daughter, industrial nurse for the Parke Davis Pharmaceutical Company.
Fred Merrill served in the United States Army during World War I. He was a charter and life member of the Snyder-Lewis-Welty American Legion Post No. 454 in Colon. He was also a member of the International Alliance Bill Posters Billers and Distributors Local No. 94. He was a past president of the International Jugglers Association.
Besides his wife and daughter he is survived by two sisters, Mrs. Rachel Gelinas and Mrs. Ida Brosseau, both of Manchester; a brother, Ernest Rajotte of Palmer, Massachusetts, and several nieces and nephews.
One of his nieces is the famed singer/ comedienne Fay McKay. She has toured with The Liberace Show and two years ago headlined at the Dunes in Las Vegas and more recently at the Stardust.
Fay McKay (August 10, 1930 – April 4, 2008)
Services were held March 18 in Colon with The Rev. Father Stanley Sulka, of St. Barbara’s Catholic Church, officiating. Burial took place in the Lakeside Cemetery in Colon. Full military honors were conferred by the Colon American Legion Post.
Our friend Fred Merrill lived a full and rewarding life. Our sincere thoughts and prayers are with his survivors. At the close of the graveside service was the playing of Taps.