Ronald Allen Merchant, USMC MSGT Retired, age 70, of Rome, passed away peacefully on September 20, 2019, with his loving family and friends at his side.
He was born January 2, 1949, in Hollywood, CA, a son of the late Peter and Edith Fuchs Merchant. Ron was united in marriage to the former Amneris Santiago, on July 18, 1972, in Oceanside, CA; she died November 28, 2014. He proudly served in the United States Marine Corps for over 22 years, serving two combat tours in Vietnam. He received many medals and citations including, Rifle and Pistol Expert Badges, Combat Action Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation Gallantry Cross, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, National Defense Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Presidential Unit Citation, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Navy Commendation Medal, Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation, Parachutist Insignia, and others. After the Marine Corps, he served in the Oneida County Sheriff Department and as a security officer at Turning Stone Casino. He also was a Past Worshipful Master of the Masonic Lodge Roman-Hatheway #223
Ron also was a loving and caring person. Along with his wife, Amneris, they served as foster parents for 38 years; fostering 54 children. They also served as foster parent recruiters in San Diego County. They were nominated for Foster Parents of the Year Award by both the USMC and New York State.
Ron is survived by a daughter, Sharon Merchant, PhD, of Syracuse; a sister and brother in law, Debra and Jamieson Sidoti of Nazareth, PA; a brother and sister in law, Peter and Rose Merchant of Rome, who were Ron’s caregivers and supporters the past several years; a granddaughter, Tiffany Merchant; special friends, Rick and Virginia Castillo and their children; and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by a daughter, Mae Louise Frederick Merchant.
The funeral service will be held Thursday at 10:00 AM, at the Barry Funeral Home, 807 West Chestnut Street. Burial with Military Honors will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Relatives and friends may call at the funeral home, Wednesday 4 to 7 PM.
The Masonic ritual service will be on Wednesday at 6:30 PM.
Please offer online tributes at: www.BarryFuneralHome.com