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Merrill E. Dickinson


Merrill Edwin Dickinson Sr. of Gilbertsville, PA entered into blessed eternal life on Thursday, Feb. 27th and is now in the presence of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Born in Philadelphia, PA on April 9th, 1934, Merrill was the third child and second son of the late William Arthur Dickinson and late Mary Estella Dickinson.   Merrill and his family resided in Salisbury Township for many years.  He moved to Gilbertsville after the passing of his wife, Rosemary Regina Dickinson, to be closer to his daughters.Merrill was united in holy matrimony to the love of his life Rosemary whom he met at Our Lady of Lords Hospital where they were both employed.   Their union was blessed with 45 years of marriage and raising four loving children.  Merrill took an early retirement to care for Rosemary during her battle with MS.  He started the MS support group at Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital. Rosemary passed  October 9, 1999.  Shortly thereafter, at the age of 66, Merrill started his own company called Medsearch North, where he sold the “motomed,” a durable medical apparatus .  He became an advocate for people with disabilities and fought the court system/Medicare to get patients the equipment they needed. He also fundraised for the MS society and was recognized at the national level.  He finally retired again at the young age of 74. Merrill was most appreciative of the friendships made at the Boyertown Senior Center over the last four years.

Merrill was always a gentleman, had a servant’s heart, and had an infectious enthusiasm for life.   He recovered from polio as a young child.   After graduating high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy Reserves as a Hospital Corpsman.   He served aboard the USS Olsen and had assignments at the Philadelphia Naval Hospital and Willow Grove Naval Air Station Dispensary.  He was ordered to active duty in 1957 and was stationed at Naval Air Station Pensacola, FL and then at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune where he served as a medic for the 8th Marine Regiment.  During this tour he also served aboard the USS Boxer and participated in assault carrier landings at St. Thomas and the Virgin Islands.  After active duty he returned to Pennsylvania and studied at Temple University.   He had a full career at Rohm and Hass Company for 31 years as a laboratory technician.   He continued his U.S. Navy Reserve military service and in 1971 transferred to the U.S. Army Reserves with assignments as an instructor for the 2059th US Army Reserve School and at the US Military Academy at West Point to plan medical services for national disasters.   He continued to accept challenging assignments that would showcase his leadership and talents as an instructor until he retired for the U.S. Army Reserves in 1994 at the rank of Sergeant Major.  Merrill was very proud of his military service often remembering the fellowship and camaraderie he experienced during his time in uniform.

Merrill was always active in his community and served on the Salisbury Township Board, as a church deacon, and Scoutmaster of Boy Scouts of America Troop 58, Minsi Trails Council in Mountainville, PA.  Merrill worked hard to give every young man a positive Scouting experience and gave special attention to those needing extra encouragement; often assisting them financially to participate in Scouting adventures.  The number of people he positively influenced in the military, through community service and in Scouting is testimony to his kindness, generosity and character. 

Merrill was a life-long learner, eager to dissect and understand.   He had a deep appreciation for classical music and could identify the composer and piece without hesitation.  He was a well-respected geologist and used his love of learning to study and promote rock and mineral collecting.   He was an active member and held office positions in Philadelphia Mineralogical Society, Tuscarora Lapidary Society, Pennsylvania Earth Science Association, Berks Mineralogical Society and also served as President of the Eastern Federation of Mineralogical Societies.   In his retirement, Merrill Sr. built one of most impressive and remarkable private collections of rocks, minerals, gems and fossils in the local area.   His love of the hobby led him to gem faceting and jewelry making.  Merrill eagerly shared his love of being a “rock hound” with members of his clubs, with children during elementary school presentations, at senior centers, and with the local media.  Each of Merrill’s surviving children and grandchildren cherish their memories of participating with his passion.

Merrill is survived by his four children; Laura Sorrentino of Gilbertsville, Merrill Jr. and his wife Elaine of Albany, Georgia, Diane Greber and her husband Joe of Quakertown, PA, and Regina Kraus and her husband Jeff of Gilbertsville, PA and six grandchildren:  Jennifer Leaman, Lindsey and Matthew Dickinson, Jacob and Abigail Kraus, and Alexis Greber, and one great-grandchild Rose Shipman.  He was a loving and dedicated husband, father and Pop-Pop and he will be deeply missed.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Tuesday, March 3rd at his church. Visitation from 9-11 a.m. with service at 11:00. A luncheon will follow in the church: (No services at the funeral home.)

Hope Community Church

2732 N. Charlotte Street

Gilbertsville, PA 19525

 In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to:

Cadence International


In the Comments section please note:  In Memory of Merrill E. Dickinson, Sr.

The family would like to extend their gratitude and appreciation to Pottstown Hospital Tower Health and Seasons Hospice for the excellent care given to Merrill. 

God shall wipe all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former thing are passed away.  Rev 21:4

The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Romans 6:23