95, of Wolfeboro, NH, formerly of Lynnfield, Melrose and Stoneham, MA. passed away on June 11th, 2018. Stephen was the son of the late George Eddy and Ruth Merrifield. Eternally devoted husband of the late Jean Merrifield. Beloved father of Susan Merrifield and husband Bruce Roberts of Moultonborough, NH, Bruce Merrifield and wife Beth Madison of Tamworth, NH, Sandra Gormley and husband Matt Gormley of Wake Forest, NC. Loving “Grampy” of Margaret Merrifield and husband Marc Zuluaga, and Bonnie, Daniel, Benjamin, Peter, Timothy, Michael, Rachel and John Gormley. Devoted “old grampy” of Sophie, Leo and Mae Merrifield-Zuluaga. Proud uncle of Karin Lee Hargy and husband Don Hargy.
A true Boston boy, Steve began his professional life working in his father’s trucking company in the Boston Faneuil Hall Market before it became chic. In his late 20’s, he co-owned Smith and Merrifield Real Estate and Insurance. He left a successful career as a relator to build and found The Middlesex Fells Nursing Home. As President of this Melrose, MA business, he designed innovative programming and a warm social environment for both the elderly and people who needed rehabilitative services. There are many Melrose baby boomers that still recall with gratitude the mentorship that Mr. Merrifield provided to them as future medical professionals.
Steve attended Stoneham High School from which he transferred to his beloved Lawrence Academy in Groton, MA. (Class of 1941). At Lawrence Academy, he was a strong student and a star athlete in track, football and lacrosse. After high school, he entered the University of New Hampshire with dreams of farming and a major in Agriculture. By the end of his sophomore year, Stephen joined the Army Air Corps wanting to serve his country and do his part to defeat Nazism, rather than remain in school. During WWII, he flew in bombing raids over Germany as a gunner. Although the bombing raids were dangerous and required steadiness and bravery, Steve shunned the role of hero, discouraged his children from watching war movies, and always maintained that war was a cruel method of resolving conflict.
Stephen Merrifield and his beloved wife Jean retired to the lakes region of New Hampshire in 1980. They were almost always together, enlivening their community through the New Comers Club, golf, tennis, hiking, and skiing. In addition to these activities, Steve enjoyed volunteering with Meals on Wheels, Habitat for Humanity, Rotary, and the First Congregational Church of Wolfeboro.
During the last year of his life, Steve lived alone at the Sugar Hill Retirement Community in Wolfeboro. Although he was legally blind and had limited hearing, Steve retained his personality as an extrovert and a people person. He cared deeply and genuinely for the nurses and staff who helped him and the new friends he made in his final home.
A graveside burial service will be held at the Lake View Cemetery in Wolfeboro, NH on Wednesday, June 27 at 11 o’clock in the morning. A memorial service to honor the life of Stephen Merrifield (1922-2018) will be held at the First Congregational Church of Wolfeboro, NH located at 115 S. Main St. on Saturday, July 21 at 10 o’clock in the morning. Reception to follow in the church. In lieu of flowers, friends and family are encouraged to donate to the New Hampshire Association for the Blind, 25 Walker St., Concord, NH 03301 or Wright Museum. P.O. Box 1212, 77 Center St., Wolfeboro, NH 03894 or Wolfeboro Area Meals on Wheels, Inc., 240 S. Main St., Wolfeboro, N.H. 03894.