Obituary: Jeffrey Grady Merrow, 65

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Jeffrey Grady Merrow, also known as “Papa Jeff”, 65, lifelong resident of Bristol, CT died peacefully on February 6th surrounded by his loved ones.   Born in Bristol on December 5th 1954, he was the beloved husband of 40 years to Nancy (Grabelski).  In addition to Nancy, he is survived by his two sons, Scott Merrow and his wife Kristen of Rhode Island, Tyler Merrow and his wife Dina of Burlington, four grandchildren; Natalia, Gianna, Avery and Colin, his sister Darci and her husband Brian Buchanan of Rhode Island, mother-in-law Pauline Grabelski and cousins Sandra and John Beauchmin, Christopher Merrow, Deborah Koltenuk and Brian and Jane Spinney.  He was predeceased by his parents, Connie and Chester Merrow.  Jeff was a devoted father, grandfather, brother, the best son-in-law to Pauline Grabelski, but above all else, he was an amazing and devoted husband to Nancy.  He had a lifelong passion for cooking, sports cars, entertaining, politics, fishing, hunting and the Boston Red Sox.  Over the last 7 years, his four grandchildren brought unconditional love and happiness into his life.  He enjoyed teaching them about gardening and sharing his love for ice cream.  For 35 years, Jeff and Nancy had an open door policy on Christmas morning hosting friends and family before everyone went on with their own Christmas celebrations.  It was a staple for over 3 decades and helped create some amazing memories that we still share today.  Jeff was a proud and passionate member of Labors International Union Local 611 where he spent 35 years rising from the ranks of a laborer to ultimately being elected as the Business Manager.  He spent his last 17 years in elected office and was always willing to go above and beyond for his members.  Throughout his time in the union, he attended and graduated from Harvard’s Trade Union Program.  In 1993, he traveled to South Africa during the first Democratic South African Election where he served as an International Trade Union Observer.  Jeff served on numerous boards and committees, including, the Wetlands Commission, Ethics Committee, Democratic Town Committee and Connecticut State Apprenticeship Council.  He was also a member of the Triumph Club, longtime patron of Jacklin Rod and Gun Club and was a devoted parishioner of St. Matthew’s Parish.  For the last 3 years, Jeff’s lifelong best friends, Chip Ryan and Paul Szydlowski never missed a Friday lunch and that meant the world to him.  Over the last 6 months and right up until the end, Karen Ryan and Rick Centoni were also fixtures in the Friday club.  On behalf of our family, we would like to send our sincere thanks to Dr. Neil Wasserman, Constellation Health Services, Jeff’s nurses (Petra, Laura, Darla, Rebekkah) and his caregivers Felicia, Addie, Miguel and Melissa.  We would also like to thank all our friends and family who have shown their love and support throughout this journey.  When you think of Jeff, we would like you to remember his beautiful blue eyes, his smile, contagious laugh and the way he always made others feel welcome and part of the family.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday (February 15, 2020) at 10 AM at St. Matthew Church, 120 Church Ave., Bristol. Burial will follow in St. Joseph Cemetery, Bristol.  Everyone should spend February 14 with someone they love.  Relatives and friends may call at Funk Funeral Home on Thursday (February 13, 2020) between 4 and 7 PM.  In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 200 Executive Blvd., Southington, CT 06489, or to St. Matthew School Development Fund, 33 Welch Dr., Bristol, CT 06010.  Please visit Jeff’s memorial web-site at www.FunkFuneralHome.com

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