Obituary: Vernon Merchant, 1934-2023 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Vernon Merchant, 1934-2023 

Loving husband and father was also a skilled carpenter and a quick-witted poet

Published January 27, 2023 at 6:00 a.m. | Updated January 27, 2023 at 11:56 a.m.

click to enlarge Vernon Merchant - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Vernon Merchant

Vernon L. Merchant, loving husband and father, passed away on January 24, 2023, at the McClure Miller Respite House in Colchester, Vt. After a three-year battle with Lewy body dementia and Parkinson's disease, he peacefully went home to be with Jesus, surrounded by his wife, daughter and eldest granddaughter. He was 88 years old.

Vernon was born on April 3, 1934, in Winooski, Vt., to Henry and Blanche (Miller) Merchant. An active member of the Vermont National Guard for many years, Vernon worked heartily with his hands as a TIG welder, boasting 50 years of experience between Vermont Structural Steel and Hazelett Strip-Casting Corporation. On May 30, 1956, he married the love of his life and high school sweetheart, Suzanne J. Feeney.

Together for 71 years, Vernon and Suzanne raised four children. He had a healthy passion for fishing and enjoyed finding a deep, clear hole to drop a line for trout. An avid photographer with a love for black-and-white photos, he was also a skilled carpenter with an exceptional talent for his craft and a quick-witted poet, never passing up the opportunity to dole out a quirky limerick or catchy jingle. Vernon was a regular attendee of Ignite Church in Williston, Vt., and cared deeply for his church family. He had many wonderful friends and deep relationships that brought him great encouragement, and he was never ashamed of sharing his love of Jesus with anyone that crossed his path.

Vernon is survived by his beloved wife, Suzanne, and his four children: Tim and Kelley Merchant, Steve and Lynn Merchant, Judy and Joseph Senesac, and Kris and MaryJane Merchant. He also leaves behind a legacy of seven grandchildren whom he loved more than life itself: Abigail and her husband, Winston; siblings Levi and Lily; and siblings Brooke, Bethany, Bridget and David.

Visiting hours will be at Lavigne’s Funeral Home in Winooski, Vt., on Sunday, January 29, from 1 to 4 p.m. There will also be a celebration of his life on Monday, January 30, at 11 a.m. at Ignite Church in Williston, Vt., with a graveside service to be held in the spring. In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests considering a donation to the McClure Miller Respite House, 3113 Roosevelt Highway, Colchester, VT 05446.

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