Obituary of Thomas Gilbert Merritt
Thomas Gilbert Merritt
Bedford, Nova Scotia
With great sadness we say goodbye to Tom, husband, father, brother (Bub), uncle, cousin and unwavering friend to many. The special friends know who they are. Tom was the son of the late Seldon Merritt and Sylvia (Gaudett). He was also predeceased by newborn daughter Elizabeth.
Tom passed away on Tuesday, Feb 21st, peacefully and unexpectedly at home 16 months after his re-diagnosis from five years ago of pancreatic cancer. He fought bravely and with an open heart, enduring 14 months of palliative chemotherapy, a true testament to how much he loved his family and his life.
He is survived by his loving sons, Paul (Tovah) and Ian; sister, Lynn Harris (Sis) (Allan); wife of 51 years, Jean (Harrington); and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Tom’s life was enriched by the ocean. He loved growing up in Sandy Cove, Digby County, with Sis and many friends, trekking between the beaches of St. Mary’s Bay to the Bay of Fundy and the lake in between where the gang played hockey. In later years, he continued to draw strength from the ‘Cove’, always in his heart. The son of a lobster fisherman, the ocean fed their family. While he never owned a boat or learned how to swim (credit due for learning how to float), he loved being on or near the water. Tom retired from the Department of National Defence where he worked for 35 years as an engineering draftsman/support tech at HMC Dockyard, CFB Halifax. In retirement his happy place was spending winters in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. He and Jean spent many relaxing hours listening to the ocean, watching the waves, breathing in the salt air and collecting sea glass in Mexico and other countries they visited. Interested in all things Viking, Tom was a model wooden ship builder that included a bespoke Viking war ship. In particular, he loved vacationing on cruise ships, sailing on 28 voyages and travelling to 63 countries and territories by sea and land with Jean and occasionally friends and family. His favourite foods also came from the sea - seafood chowder, lobster, scallops, shrimp and crab cakes.
Sending many thanks and much gratitude to Dr. Ravi Ramjeesingh and Shelby, and Dr. Erika Yazer, who responded attentively to our calls with care in their hearts. Thanks also to all of the nurses at the QEII Cancer Care Centre who made Tom’s journey the best it could be.
There will be a joyous celebration of Tom’s life on May 27, 2023, at the Sackville Kinsmen Community Centre, 71 First Lake Drive, Lr. Sackville, 2pm. Burial of his ashes will be in the family plot at a private service in Sandy Cove, Digby Neck, overlooking St. Mary’s Bay once again.
Donations in Tom’s memory may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society or a charity of your choice.
Everyone will miss his ever-smiling face and positive spirit.
The holes in our hearts will always be filled with Tom’s love.