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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