Cover photo for William Clarence Merritt, Jr. 's Obituary
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1933 William 2023

William Clarence Merritt, Jr.

March 17, 1933 — June 25, 2023

On Sunday, June 25th, 2023, McDonald, Tennessee, resident William Clarence Merritt Jr. (90) passed away peacefully at home from natural causes. Clarence was born in Pennsylvania on March 17th, 1933, to William C. Merritt and Alice Marguerite (Flinn) Merritt, the youngest of 3 children.

Clarence enlisted in the U.S. Navy at 17 and first served on the USS Olmsted (APA 188) as a hospital corpsman during the Korean conflict. He retired after 31 years of active service as Steel Worker Chief Petty Officer (SWCPO) in the Seabees (Naval Construction Battalions). Shortly after returning from overseas Clarence married the Love of his life Margaret Ann (Rafferty) Merritt. Together they faithfully served their Lord Jesus Christ as members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and raised 4 children.

After retirement Clarence remained active in service to the Country he loved through various Veterans’ organizations including Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1697 where Chief Merritt filled many roles including Commander and Quartermaster.

Clarence is survived by Margaret, his loving wife of 67 years, his children, Cheryl (Doug) Becker, Anchorage AK, Patti (Butch) Long, Jellico TN, Barbara (Garth) Keizer, Collegedale TN, and William Clarence Merritt III, Cleveland TN, and 5 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. Clarence was preceded in death by his parents and 2 infant brothers.

In lieu of flowers the family requests any donations be directed to VFW Post 1697, PO Box 2103, Collegedale, TN 37315. Interment with full military honors is at 1:00 PM on Wednesday, July 5, 2023, in the Chattanooga National Cemetery, 1200 Bailey Ave, Chattanooga, TN 37404. All family, friends and fellow patriots are welcome to attend this final tribute to William Clarence Merritt Jr.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

Chattanooga National Cemetery

1200 Bailey Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37404

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