Robert L Merchanthouse, of Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, passed away on November 2, 2019, at Grand Strand Hospital in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
He had had many health challenges over the past year but maintained a positive attitude and sense of humor that we all knew so well.
Bob was born on November 13, 1946 to Helen Dees Merchanthouse and Robert E. Merchanthouse, in Richmond, Indiana on the corner of East Main and North 22nd Streets, in the Glen Aire Hospital. He affectionately called it the “Bobby Merchanthouse Memorial Birth Place” and never failed to announce it every time he drove by.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his father- and mother-in-law, and infant son, Andrew.
Those who survive to cherish his memory are Susan, his wife of 50 years, son, Joseph (Kelly), daughter Sara Riesel (Terry), grandchildren, Rowan, Hayden, India, Kiah, Esmé , Mitch and Delphine, brother, Greg Merchanthouse (Pam), brother-in-law, Steve Otlewski (Ann), niece Julie Merchanthouse Gately, nephews Marty Merchanthouse, Trevor Otlewski, Michael Otlewski, Adam Otlewski, several great nieces, great nephews and cousins. Bob also leaves behind a wealth of loyal and caring friends.
Bob graduated from Richmond High School in Richmond, Indiana and was a proud and loyal member of the class of 1965. He attended Indiana University where he majored in Television and Broadcasting. He served for six years in the Indiana National Guard reaching the rank of staff sergeant.
Music and singing were influential in his life from a very early age. While still in high school, he learned to play guitar and with Steve Porter and Janet Blossom Lussier formed The Will-O-Bees folk trio. During their career with Columbia Screen Gems they released several records, commercials, and theme song to a television show. His love and appreciation of music was a lifelong interest.
He worked in the sales department of Wayne Corporation before owning Merchanthouse Transportation Sales, a school bus dealership, for 20 years. He served as a member of the Indiana State School Bus Transportation and Safety Board.
Bob was civic minded and fostered a support and commitment to the community of Richmond. He coached his children’s athletic teams, served in scouting as a leader of Pack 108, and as a member of the board of Crossroads Council of Boy Scouts, was a member of the Wayne County Boys and Girls Clubs board of directors and was involved in fundraising campaigns for Earlham College, United Way and Y.M.C.A.
Bob loved the game of golf but really enjoyed all the stories that developed from those outings and golf travels with his friends.
In his travels in the U.S. and abroad he was able to explore his love of history by visiting many museums and battlefields. He had a special interest in the Civil War and developed quite a library to support it.
His 15 year battle with kidney disease resulted in a kidney transplant from a stranger donor in 2012. Through her selfless donation, Vickie Napier gave Bob the gift of life and friendship.
The family would like to express their gratitude to Alan Merchanthouse and Sharon Beech for their unwavering support and help during Bob’s illness.
A celebration of Bob’s life will be held in the spring in Richmond. Details will be announced via social media and the Palladium-Item.
Donations can be made to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Wayne County, Jeffers Unit, 1717 South L Street, Richmond, IN,47374 or Trust For Life, Kidney Transplant Unit, 982 Eastern Parkway, Box 13, Louisville, KY 40217.
Arrangements: Burroughs Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Murrells Inlet, South Carolina.