John J. Merris II, 85, of Shrewsbury, passed away on February 2, 2021. He was born in Orange, New Jersey and moved to Shrewsbury in 1962 where he remained until his passing.
John attended his freshman year of high school at Clifford J. Scott HS, East Orange, and spent the next three years at Red Bank High School, graduating in 1954. While there he played on the junior varsity basketball and baseball teams.
He served with the 644th Tank Battalion, 50th Armored Division as a medic from 1954-1962. He attained the rank of Sp3 (Corporal). During this time, he received an expert medal with the M-1 rifle and a marksmanship medal with the carbine.
John worked at Fort Monmouth as a budget and procurement analyst for 40 years, retiring in 1994. After his retirement, he spent over 20 years working for the Eatontown Police Department as a crossing guard. He loved seeing the kids each day and they loved seeing him.
A man devoted to his town, John published a quarterly township newsletter, was a member of the Zoning Board of Adjustment, and put in many hours coaching and refereeing township sporting events. He served on the Shrewsbury Recreation Committee from 1971 to 1980 and was the co-founder of the Shrewsbury Girls’ Softball League which was replicated throughout the shore area.
John enjoyed cheering on the NY Yankees, NY Giants and Notre Dame football team; he rarely missed a televised game. John was an avid gardener and grew raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries, along with various types of vegetables.
John is predeceased by his wife JoAnn, and his parents Mary and John Merris and step-father Norman Holden, a sister Corrine (Jean) Digiore of Wayne, NJ, and a brother William formerly of Dallas, TX. Surviving are his two sons; John Merris and his wife Laura of Shrewsbury, NJ and William Merris of Hickory, NC; his daughter Wendy Doheny and her husband David of Loudon, TN; four grandchildren Rebecca Miller and her husband Gregory of Branchburg, NJ, Meagan Hoffman and her husband Benjamin of Kutztown, PA, John Paul Merris and his wife Rebecca of Shrewsbury, NJ and Ryan Doheny of St. Petersburg, FL; one great-grandchild, Abigail Merris of Shrewsbury, NJ; a sister Muriel Coffey of Durham, NC, and a sister-in-law Carlene Merris, of Dallas, TX.
A funeral mass will be offered at St. James Catholic Church in Red Bank on Friday, February 12th at 11 a.m. Those wishing to attend must follow NJ covid protocols. If you are unable to attend in person, a virtual service will be available through St. James RC Church at SJRedBank.org Entombment will follow and is private at Mt. Olivet Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent in John’s memory to Lunch Break, 121 Drs James Parker Blvd, Red Bank, NJ 07701; or the Monmouth County SPCA, 260 Wall Street, Eatontown, NJ 07724; or the American Diabetes Association, 2451 Crystal Drive, Suite 900, Arlington, VA 22202.
To send flowers to John's family, please visit our floral store.