Merritt C. Rowley, formerly of Housatonic, passed away on Friday, March 31, at Kindred Laurel Lake at the age of 99.
He was born on October 9, 1917, in Canaan, Connecticut. His formative years were spent growing up on a dairy farm operated by his parents, Samuel E. Rowley and Waity, May Ball on Duke Hill in New Marlborough. He graduated from the former New Marlborough High School in 1936.
He enlisted in the U.S. Army in August 1942, served as a military policeman in Italy, and was awarded the European African Middle Eastern Service Medal. While stationed in Rome, he and members of his company went to a ceremony at St. Peter’s Basilica. He was always proud of being blessed by the Pope. Following his military discharge in 1945, he attended American International College graduating in 1949 with a Bachelor of Science degree. He worked for the Connecticut State Department of Labor as a field representative and job placement specialist before joining Home Gas Corporation in 1955 retiring as a district manager. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Shriners International. He also belonged to the First Congregational Church in Great Barrington. He was a 50-year member of the Cincinnatus Lodge AF & AM in Great Barrington having joined in 1966.
Merritt is survived by his daughter, Barbara Anne (Rowley) Stickle, of Red Hook, New York; sister-in-law Doris Rowley; and many nephews and nieces. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Samuel, Donald, and Warren; and sister, Alain.
There are no calling hours. Internment will take place at the family plot, Grassy Hill Cemetery, Falls Village, Connecticut, at the convenience of the family. Donations in his memory may be made to the First Congregational Church in Great Barrington through FINNERTY & STEVENS FUNERAL HOME, 426 Main St., Great Barrington, MA 01230. To send remembrances to his family go to www.finnertyandstevens.com.