Long-term Old First member, Ruth Merrill, passed away on Sept. 4, in Key West, where she had relocated to in 2009. Her memorial service will be at Old First on Sunday, September 18 at 1 p.m. Our choir will be participating. Family members will share memories. The Rev. Carl Kleis will provide a homily. A luncheon will follow in the garden. The family has asked that memorial gifts in thanksgiving for Ruth be given to Old First. All are invited to come to this service and the luncheon thereafter to give thanks and remember the life of this saint.
Ruth Behlau Merrill
AGE: 90 • Of Key West, FL & Haddonfield, NJ
Passed away peacefully Sunday Morning, September 4, 2011 of natural causes at her home. Ruth grew up in Collingswood, NJ, and then moved to Haddonfield, where she and her husband, Douglas F. Merrill raised their 3 children.
Ruth’s lifelong love of music led her at a young age to train as a vocalist, studying at the Clark Institute in Philadelphia. She performed in the Philadelphia area, was a longtime soloist at the Haddonfield United Methodist Church, and sung with composer/organist Joe Lowe in Key West.
In 1972, Ruth, with her husband Douglas, and son Peter, moved to Key West, Florida to assist Ruth’s other son Allan in opening the popular and highly successful restaurant “The Hukilau”. She continued to live both in Haddonfield and Key West until 2011.
Beside the love she had of family and friends Ruth was a passionate cook, gardener and lover of animals. Ruth is predeceased by her son Allan, survived by her son Peter (Jodie) of Key West; daughter Donna of Wilton, CT, brother William (Betty) and sister Evelyn (Jack) both of Collingswood, NJ, grandchildren Christopher, David, Tracy and Courtney and great-granddaughter Natalie.
A memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Sunday September 18, 2011 at Old First Reformed United Church of Christ, 4th and Race Sts., Philadelphia, PA.