NIAGARA - James A. "Jim" Merritt, 79, of Niagara, passed away on Friday, Oct. 26, 2012, at Bellin Hospital in Green Bay with family at his side.
Jim was born July 2, 1933, in Oconto, Wis., son of the late Floyd and Violet (Boes) Merritt. He graduated from Niagara High School and was a resident of the area for most of his life.
Jim was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran of the Korean War was awarded several decorations and citations for his service to our country which included the U.N. Service Medal, the Korean Service Medal with three stars, the National Defense Service Medal and a Purple Heart for being wounded in action. He was an extremely proud veteran who never left the house without his Marine Corps hat and jacket and lived by the words, "once a marine, always a marine."
Jim married Jean M. Provencher on Aug. 28, 1954, in Niagara, and they spent 58 wonderful years together. Jim was employed at the Niagara Paper Mill for almost 40 years, retiring in 1994.
He was a member of St. Anthony Catholic Church in Niagara and in his early years was in the Knights of Columbus. Jim was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting, fishing and camping. He was also a big Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers fan. Jim had an appreciation for antiques and collectables and enjoyed frequenting rummage sales to see what he might find. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather and will be greatly missed by all.
Jim is survived by his wife, Jean; five children, Julie (Roger) Lantagne of Green Bay, Jeff (Cathy) Merritt of Sobieski, Wis., Jay (Amy) Merritt of Quinnesec, Janice Merritt of Green Bay and Jodi (Reiny) Merritt-Klingeisen of Sobieski; seven grandchildren, Brad Lantagne of Los Angeles, Christopher Wallace of Green Bay, Kendra Merritt of Green Bay, JoLee and Jonah Klingeisen of Sobieski, Briana Kemnitz of Niagara and Zach Kemnitz of Quinnesec; four great-grandchildren, Evalyn, Alexis and Chandler Wallace and Syhe Kemnitz; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by two infant daughters, Cynthia Marie and Barbara Jean Merritt; a brother, Harlan Merritt; and a sister, Marietta Harke.
Visitation will be Tuesday from 10 a.m. to noon at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Niagara.
A funeral Mass will follow at noon at the church. Fr. Matt Settle will offer the Mass of Christian Burial. Burial will be in the Niagara Cemetery. The American Legion Post 50 will conduct military graveside honors.
The family would like to thank the caring doctors, nurses and staff of Dickinson County Memorial Hospital, Bellin Hospital and Unity Hospice for the excellent care given to Jim.
Condolences may be expressed to the family of James Merritt online at ernashfuneralhomes.com.
The family has entrusted the Erickson-Rochon & Nash Funeral Home of Iron Mountain with the funeral arrangements.