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Keith (Jake) Warren Merkt passed away on Wednesday, June 1, 2022 at his home in Hamilton, NY. While unexpected, he died peacefully in his sleep next to his loving wife of 55 years, Donna.
He was born on December 31, 1935 in Randallsville, NY to Wallace and Dorothy (Rodman) Merkt, eventually moving to the family farm on Smith Road in Hamilton. Keith graduated from Hamilton Central School in 1953. He went on to play football for Morrisville College and graduated in 1957 with a degree in Agriculture. Keith served honorably in the US Army and was deployed to Korea from 1958-1960. He also played football for the Army. Upon returning to the United States, Keith was invited to attend North Dakota State to play football, where he played offensive tackle for the Bison from 1961 to 1962. In August of 1966, Keith married Donna and started a family. He worked for Kerr-McGee and then Agway before taking over the family farm in 1974, where he dedicated his life to tending to the animals and land. The farm was his passion, and it filled him with joy until his final day.
Keith loved sports and attended many local high school athletic events as well as Colgate hockey, football and basketball games. He was active with the Hamilton FFA, the Hamilton Sports Boosters, and the Eatonbrook Rod and Gun Club.
He is predeceased by his daughter Stacey and survived by his wife Donna (Boyce); two sisters Margie (Fay) Lyon and Mary Merkt; daughter Patti (Jeff) Mocsari and grandson Justin; son Brian (Renee) Merkt and grandchildren Lucas, Madalyn and Annabelle; son Dan (Marisa) Merkt and grandchildren Logan and Emilia. Keith has a very large extended family including many nieces, nephews and cousins from the Merkt, Rodman and Jantzen families. He was an avid supporter of local sports where he watched his children and grandchildren play throughout the years. Keith could often still be found on the sidelines, supporting all local athletes. He will always be remembered for his honesty, generosity and unwavering support for the community he grew up in.
Friends are invited to call at the Burgess & Tedesco Funeral Home, 25 Broad St., Hamilton on Tuesday, June 7, 2022 from 5-7pm.
Services and interment are private.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in his name to the Hamilton Sports Boosters, PO Box 44, Hamilton NY 13346 or Eaton Fire Department, PO Box 52, Eaton NY 13334..
To send a condolence online go to www.burgessandtedescofuneralhomes.com
Tuesday, June 7, 2022
5:00 - 7:00pm (Eastern time)
Burgess & Tedesco Funeral Home (Hamilton)
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