ARCHBOLD -- Harold M. Merillat, age 90 years, of Archbold, passed away Monday afternoon, January 14, 2013, in his home.
He was born January 27, 1922, in Archbold, the son of Grover Cleveland and Lena (Rupp) Merillat. He married Helen Clingaman on January 24, 1942, and she preceded him in death on February 1, 2011. He lived his life all around the United States, eventually settling in the Baltimore, Maryland area, where he lived for 18 years before returning to Archbold in 1993. He retired at 55 years of age as branch chief of the Social Security Administration (GS-15), having spent 22 years in civil service. He graduated from Archbold High School in 1940, and obtained a BA from Bowling Green State University with a major in economics and political science and a minor in journalism.
He was a veteran of the U.S. Navy, having served during World War II as an electrician's mate from 1942-45 as a "Sea-bee" in the South Pacific. He was a member of the Archbold United Methodist Church and the American Legion B.L.W. Post 311. He was past president of the Rotary Club and two Toastmaster's International clubs.
He had a passion for religion and teaching Sunday School was almost a second job for him throughout his life. He taught all ages of pupils, but enjoyed teaching adult Bible classes most of all. He taught adult Bible classes in Chicago, Kansas City, Terre Haute, Fort Wayne and Harrisburg, Illinois; in Methodist, Presbyterian and Lutheran churches. He believed his pupils got a lot from his classes, but was always convinced that he benefited the most from that interaction.
He was the author of two unpublished novels, and wrote and produced training films for the SSA. He had a weekly newspaper column for two years while living in southern Illinois that explained, in a homespun manner, who was eligible and how to claim Social Security benefits. He was a quiet, but tireless proponent of civil rights and served as the chairman of the Mayor's Planning Commission on Public Affairs while living in southern Illinois in the early 1960s.
He is survived by one son, James Merillat of New York City.
Besides his wife, he was preceded in death by his parents; a son, John Merillat (1992); brothers, Victor and Paul; and sister, Doris.
A private graveside service was held on Thursday, January 17, 2013, at St. James Lutheran Cemetery with Rev. David David officiating. A memorial service celebrating his life will be held on Saturday, January 26, 2013, at 7 p.m. at Short Funeral Home in Archbold.
The family suggests that memorials be given to the FISH Community Pantry through the Archbold United Methodist Church, 401 Ditto Street, Archbold, OH 43502. Checks may be made out to: Archbold United Methodist Church (FISH). Online condolences may be left at www.ShortFuneralHome.com.