Deceased February 3, 2019
Chip died on Feb. 3 of natural causes. He came to Amherst from Mendham, N.J., the Morristown School and a long line of Amherst grads, including his father, grandfather and even a great-grandfather. At the suggestion of Dean Porter, Chip left Amherst and served in the Army from 1954 to 1956. He returned to the College to graduate in 1957. During this time, Chip married Suzanne France.
Following this rocky road for Chip and his Amherst education, things turned bright for him as a successful banker. He started with Manufacturers Hanover as a loan officer. Chip became a specialist in turning failing banks into profitable enterprises. This led him into executive positions at the Bank of North Carolina in Raleigh and two banks near Harrisburg, Pa. He retired in 1995 but later became one of the organizers and on the board of Legacy Bank in Harrisburg.
Chip and Suzie attended our 50th reunion in 2005, arriving on a Wednesday and participating in our class activities. Then, early that Friday morning, they drove to Bradley Field and flew to Wisconsin to attend the graduation that evening of a grandchild. The very next morning, the Merrills hopped on a plane back to Bradley and thence to Amherst, where they were just in time for the finale to our reunion—the Saturday night banquet. Amazing!
As one might expect, Chip was always active in community affairs wherever he lived. In his leisure time, he enjoyed tennis, bicycling, travel, platform tennis, bridge and golf. Several years ago, the Merrills moved to a CCRC near Harrisburg. There Chip did all of the cooking for the two of them and served as primary caregiver for Suzie. She survives Chip, as do their three children, six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Rob Sowersby ’55