Obituary of Bruce J. Merritt
Bruce James Merritt, 75 of Gloucester Township, NJ; formally of Arizona, Virginia and Minnesota passed away on March 29, 2023 suddenly at his home. Bruce was born on August 18, 1947 to Harold and Lelia (nee Lucas) in Deer River, Minnesota. In his younger years he was active in the Boy Scouts, played baseball and was in the Drum and Bugle Corps playing the trumpet. After graduating from Central High School, class of 1965 in St. Paul, Minnesota he went on to study middle eastern history at Macalester College.
After graduating in 1969, Bruce started his long career with the CIA. During this time he was drafted into the Army. He spent time at the language school in Monterey, CA where he learned Arabic. Bruce went on to earn his Masters in Political Science and National Security Studies from Georgetown University. In his career, Bruce was on the frontline of the struggle with the Soviet Union. His analysis and reporting helped the US decision makers and was part of the intelligence effort that ultimately led to the end of the Cold War. His career took him all over the world, but his most loved assignment was working at the US Embassy in Bonn, West Germany from 1984-1986. He loved exploring the history, food, culture and of course the beers on Western Europe. He was in Saudia Arabia when Desert Storm began and would continue to return to the region several more times in his career. He spent an extended trip in Switzerland where he worked on the START treaty in the early 1990’s
In 1973, Bruce met Faye Weber while working at Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue, NE. Bruce and Faye went on to have two children, Aaron in 1974 and Elizabeth in 1975.
In 2002, Bruce retired after 32 years of service to the Federal Government. He moved to Avondale, AZ where he continued to work as a contractor and would continue to travel to the Middle East until 2010. He enjoyed many hobbies and interest during his career and into retirement. He could often be found in the kitchen cooking foods from around the world or on the golf course. He was always reading a good book or working on the New Times crossword puzzle. He would engage most of his friends and family in some deep and intellectual conversations on a large array of topics often saying he was full of so many useless facts and was a killer at Jeopardy. He had wicked sense of humor. In 2016, Bruce made his final move to New Jersey to be close to Elizabeth and his beloved grandchildren. He loved watching Mackenzies’ soccer game and Logans’ baseball games and could be found often watching the latest on Netflix or the history channel.
Bruce was predeceased by his parents, Harold (Bub) and Lelia, his brother Keith and his son Aaron. He is survived by his daughter Elizabeth (Jeff), his grandson Logan Keith and granddaughter Mackenzie Lelia as well as his cats Pepper and George. He is also survived by many cousins.
Services will be held at The House of Hope Presbyterian Church in St. Paul, Minnesota on Tuesday, April 11, 2023 with the viewing at 10:00 am, followed immediately by the funeral at 11:00 am. Interment at Sunset Cemetery in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In lieu of flowers, please donate to your local animal shelter.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Bruce Merritt, please visit Tribute Store