NEW YORK MILLS — John A. Merchant, 77, a lifelong area resident, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, April 2, 2019, at his home.
He was born in Rome, NY on May 20, 1941, the son of the late Salvatore and Rosalie (Scatterazza) Merchant, and graduated from Rome Free Academy, class of 1959. On October 25, 1969, he married Joan (Joni) Hiffa Merchant in St. Louis Gonzaga Church, Utica, a loving union shared for over 40 years. John was employed as a shipping clerk at Strand-Flex National Standard of Oriskany for over 30 years until his retirement in 2001. He was an active member of the New York Mills Volunteer Fire Department for over 45 years serving many of them as a trustee, Johncould always be counted on to plan the annual Halloween party and a myriad of other activities at the firehouse. He was a parishioner of Sacred Heart/St. Mary’s Church, and volunteered in the Holy Name Society for many years.
John enjoyed traveling with his wife and spending time with his family, especially summer weekends on the St. Lawrence River, where the family had a camp. John had a great love of the outdoors and looked forward to hunting with his nephews and friends on the Muck every year. For many years John was an avid fan of the New York Islanders, Duke University and a big supporter of local sports teams. He also had a love of animals, especially his Labrador retrievers Banacek and Magnum, and more recently Charlie Cat and his buddy Winston who was at his side during his passing.
His survivors include his loving daughter Kristin C. Merchant, also of New York Mills; a son and daughter-in-law, Jason J. Merchant and Rebecca Lee Nokes, of Annandale, VA; his sister Ann Lamandia, his sisters-in-law, Catherine (Lola) Hiffa, Alicia Hiffa, Theresa Merchant; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by five brothers, three sisters, and most recently by his childhood friend Richard Zigrino. John will also be remembered by his many family, friends, neighbors he met throughout his life living in both Rome and New York Mills.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend his Mass of Christian Burial which will be celebrated on, Tuesday at 10 a.m. at the Kowalczyk Funeral Home, 284 Main Street, New York Mills, and at 10:30 a.m. at Sacred Heart/St. Mary’s Church. Relatives and friends may call on Monday from 4 until 7 p.m. Burial will take place in Calvary Cemetery.
In addition, the family wishes to thank all of John’s friends too numerous to mention for their love and unconditional support.
In his memory, contributions may be made to the Stevens-Swan Humane Society of Oneida County, 5664 Horatio Street, Utica, NY 13502. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.
Light a Candle at: www.kowalczykfuneralhomes.com