Thomas R. Merrill

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Thomas Richard “Rick” Merrill, age 71, loving husband, and father of 3 children, passed away Sunday, October 1, 2022, at Otsego Memorial Hospital.

Rick was born on February 27, 1951, in Petoskey, Michigan. He graduated from Petoskey High School class of 1969. He was a talented, self-taught, auto repair technician, and later owner of “Rick’s Auto Repair” until his retirement.

On November 16, 1974, he married the love of his life Sally, and they raised a son, Brian, and two daughters, Amanda and Brenda.

Rick enjoyed spending time on Otsego Lake fishing with his wife on their pontoon boat. He also developed a passion for motorcycles and long rides with friends to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Rick was preceded in death by his Grandson, Levi Coger.

He is survived by his wife, Sally; his three children, Brian (Debbie) Coger, of Gaylord, Michigan, Amanda Merrill, of Wolverine, Michigan, and Brenda (Dwight) Frazier, of Sault Ste Marie, Michigan; 6 siblings; his mother, Martha Baumgartner, of Boyne Falls, Michigan; and grandchildren, Julia, Angelia, Joshua, Whitney, Terry, Justine, and Tiffany; and several great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will take place at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be directed to the American Cancer Society online at

Arrangements were entrusted to Nelson Funeral Home and Cremation Service, P.O. Box 1548, Gaylord, MI 49734.

10 comments on “Thomas R. Merrill”

  1. So sorry for your loss, may God comfort you throughout your time of grievance. I am so happy he decided to have his own repair business. Dad would have been proud of him.

  2. So sorry to hear about Rick’s passing. I sure learned a lot from Rick in the past, and I am very thankful for that. Probably some things that include my love of hillbilly music, working on cars and trucks anything else that chugs along. Maybe drinking beer and God knows what else.
    Thanks for everything Rick, I’ll miss you. Sincere condolences to all of y’alls.
    God bless, Love Mike Matuszak and family

  3. I am so very sad to just learn of Rick’s passing. He was a wonderful friend. My condolences to all of his family.

  4. We always thought of Rick as our 5th brother there were 5 boys so we all had 4 brothers he was the 5th. We will all miss him as a friend and a brother. Speaking for my family and all his friends that knew him well, 5 o’clock came but we could talk him into it at 3 if he didn’t have something pressing.
    The Krol family

  5. Kathy & Dennis Leysen

    To the family of Rick,
    He was awesome I found him when my car wasn’t working about 30 some yrs. ago. A lady I worked w referred him, and went to him ever since. He helped us w a head gasket, told us to put pepper in it…we did and that worked for over 2yrs before we had to replace it. He was so smart fair he helped so many people. He will be remembered by many and missed. Rest in peace Rick ❤

  6. I am sorry to hear of Ricks passing. He was my mechanic for years and a very honest man.. he was a valued asset to our community always.

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