Nature 45

Merrill C. Marshall

October 15, 1948 ~ August 19, 2023 (age 74) 74 Years Old


Merrill C. Marshall, 74, of Bridgewater Massachusetts, formerly of Lakeville, passed away unexpectedly on August 19, 2023, at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, surrounded by his family. Born on October 15, 1948, he was the son of the late Harry Cecil Marshall and Alice (Sampson) Marshall.  In addition to his wife Patricia, Merrill is survived by his son Merrill, Jr. and his wife Katy and granddaughter Violet of Carver, son Scott of Foxboro and his partner Peggy Lundie and son Michael of Vail, Colorado.  He is also survived by his brother Gene and his wife Donna of Wilton Maine, his sister Rita Garbitt of Lakeville, and his sister Janet Beech and her husband Tommy of Lakeville, along with many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.    He was predeceased by his older brother Harold of Lakeville.

Merrill graduated from Apponequet Regional High School, Class of 1965. In 1970 he went to work at MCI-Norfolk as a corrections officer working his way up to Deputy Superintendent.  In 1990, he retired and went to work at the Brockton Enterprise for 20 plus years working his way up to Office Manager.  After retiring from the Enterprise, he was a Fed EX Driver in Lakeville for many years. He always made sure he had plenty of treats for all of his four-legged friends on his route. He was currently working part-time as a custodian at Bountiful Farms, Inc. in Lakeville and was admired by all. 

Merrill’s siblings have very fond memories of him growing up.  He had a wonderful sense of humor, a remarkable work ethic, was a history buff and had an incredible sense of pride in his Sampson family history in Lakeville tracing his ancestry back to the Mayflower. Growing up in one of the oldest homes on Main Street (Coombs Farm), as a young boy he was always digging up artifacts on the property.  His family still has his collection. When Merrill’s Dad died, he was fourteen, which left him with the responsibility of helping his Mother raise his 11 and 8 year old sisters (no easy task for a teenager), since his two older brothers were already married.

One pivotal event in Merrill’s early career (he was 24) at MCI-Norfolk had a lifelong effect on him. On July 31, 1972, an inmate’s wife smuggled a gun into the prison.  After fatally shooting his wife, he attempted to escape.   During the riot that ensued, the inmate was intent on finding Merrill, but fortunately other inmates hid Merrill and ultimately saved his life.  However, fellow officers James Souza (29) and Alfred Baranowski (54) were shot and killed, and Officer David Mackey sustained life threatening gun-shot wounds, but subsequently recovered. Merrill always commented to his siblings over the years about the incident “what if”.  Last year he attended the Remembrance Ceremony for the Officers held at MCI-Norfolk on the 50th anniversary of the tragedy.  Merrill felt so honored to be invited by the Superintendent to speak at the ceremony.

The family is planning to honor and remember Merrill on Saturday, September 16, 2023, from 1:00 to 4:00 PM at the Mitchell Memorial Club, 29 Elm Street, Middleboro, MA.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Lakeville Animal Shelter, 346 Bedford Street, Lakeville, MA 02347

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Celebration of Life
September 16, 2023

1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Mitchell Memorial Club
29 Elm Street
Middleboro, MA 02346


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