Merle J. E. Stetson, 91, husband of the late Althea (Maker) Stetson, passed away peacefully on January 9, 2019, with his daughters, June A. Paduch and Gail E. Terry, by his side. His son, Merle Douglas Stetson, predeceased him. He was the son of the late George W. and Marian H. (Brailey) Stetson.
He was a graduate of Bristol County Agricultural High School. After graduation, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps and attained the rank of Corporal. He was a seagoing Marine and was assigned to the USS Pasadena which was sent to China. He was proud to have served as a China Marine and enjoyed seeing that country. The Pasadena was perhaps the last U.S. cruiser to leave China as the Communists were taking over the country. He was a World War II veteran.
A Berkley native, he was born and raised his family in the Myricks part of town where he purchased his farm in 1944. Merle raised poultry, and he was also a grain dealer, first selling Wirthmore Feeds and then Agway. He and his wife ran the Agway Home and Garden store until their retirement in 1989. At that time, they purchased their retirement home in Gulfport, Florida.
Merle served in several town positions including Constable, Member of the Industrial Development Commission, and Deputy Chief of the Berkley Volunteer Fire Department. He served as Supervisor of the Bristol Conservation District of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He was a member of the Berkley Lions Club from its founding until it was disbanded. He belonged to the American Legion Post 121 in Berkley, the Marine Corps League in New Bedford, and The Disabled American Veterans Chapter in Taunton.
Merle enjoyed being with people. If he was invited, he was there! He liked working outdoors and could often be seen picking up rocks or burning brush. While retired he could be seen walking the beaches and parks of Florida or walking in the Stetson University College of Law neighborhood.
In addition to his daughters, he is survived by his son-in-law Len Terry of East Taunton, and his daughter-in-law, Patricia Stetson of Berkley. In addition to his son, he was also predeceased by his son-in-law Stanley M. Paduch. He also leaves his grandchildren, Dawn M. (Paduch) Araujo of Fall River, Lisa A. (Paduch) Tetreault of Berkley, Leonard Terry of Valrico, FL, William Terry of Winter Haven, FL, Peter Fasel of Lakeville, Ben Fasel and his wife Kelly (Panos) of East Bridgewater, Sarah (Fasel) Cogar and her husband Dan of Seekonk, Meredith Stetson and her wife Mary (Burns) of Berkley, and his former daughter-in-law Dale (Compos) Stetson of Berkley. He was also a proud great-grandfather of many. In addition, he leaves his brother, George Robert Stetson, and his sisters, Dorothy Stetson Peirce, and Patricia Stetson MacNeil. He was predeceased by his brother Lawrence W. Stetson.
A private memorial service was held at the convenience of the family. He is buried in the Stetson-Haskins Cemetery located on his farm.