William “Bill” Clyde Merritt Jr. passed away on Saturday, April 4, 2020, in Lakeland, Florida. He was 62. Born in Lakeland on September 25, 1957, to William Sr. and Eloise Merritt, Bill was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He graduated from Lakeland Senior High School in 1976, earned his associates degree from Polk State College and continued his education at the University of South Florida.

He spent the majority of his career in sales with Colorado Boxed Beef Co. in Auburndale and Lakeland, before retiring in October 2019 and was affectionately known to his coworkers and customers as “BC.” Outside of work, he was an avid and talented golfer who competed successfully in long-drive competitions and scramble tournaments. He was a two-time winner of the national Oldsmobile Scramble and also won the Cadillac Invitational scramble played at Pebble Beach. 

He was generous with his money and time, serving as a mentor and father figure not only for his sons but for many others. He loved cars, a good cigar, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Florida State Seminoles, being on the right side of an argument, spending time with friends, bragging about his boys, and spoiling his grandchildren and taking them on golf cart rides as Papa. He made a lasting impact on those around him.

Survivors include his wife, Karen; sons, Brandt (Kristy) Merritt and Kyle (Andrea) Merritt; sister, Brenda (David) Duke; four grandchildren: Rebekah, Emily, Nolan and Peyton; three nieces, three nephews and seven great nieces and nephews. A celebration of life service will be scheduled for a later date when it is possible to once again have large gatherings. 

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Barry Friedman founded Lkldnow.com in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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  1. What a beautiful tribute to a man who will live in our hearts. Our love to all of you.
    Michelle and Keith Lott

  2. A beautiful and worthy man left a beautiful and worthy family. God Speed, Billy. Your family is your legacy ~ “well done good and faithful servant”.

  3. What a great tribute to a great man! I loved me some Billy Merritt!! He loved you guys so much & was so proud of his family! THANKFUL FOR GREAT MEMORIES!!! I love you guys! Praying for you all! ❤️

  4. Karen and family, Billy was always fun to be around and had a very good heart. Your families are in our prayers.

  5. Just learned of Billy’s passing. Prayers and love for Kane’s and family. God Bless you. Nulli Secundus ‘76.

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