Family Login:

Mr. Wayne G. Merrill

Obituary for Mr. Wayne G. Merrill

February 9, 1951 - September 1, 2019
Boxford, Massachusetts | Age 68


BOXFORD – Mr. Wayne Gilbert Merrill, 68, of Boxford, beloved husband of Jane Alice (Doughty) Merrill, died Sunday, September 1, 2019 at home surrounded by his loving family and faithful canine friend, Dexter, following a valiant 3-year battle with lung cancer and severe COPD.

Born in Newburyport, he was the son of the late Ralph Merrill and Arlene June (Philbrick) Merrill. He was raised and educated in Newburyport and was a graduate of Newburyport High School, Class of 1971.

Wayne was born with an entrepreneurial spirit. From a young age he was blessed with a creative mind and strong work ethic. Never afraid of a hard day's work, Wayne was the epitome of a self-made man. He was the founder of many business ventures over the course of his professional life. As a young man, he worked in gas stations as an attendant and eventually would open his own filling station and garage in Salisbury. Over the years he would own a private taxi service and a fresh Seafood Market on Plum Island. He earned his commercial driver's license and drove big rigs for Graff Brothers and also worked as an armored truck driver for Wells Fargo.

In 1978, Wayne and his beloved wife Jane, would become the new proprietors of her family's business, the Boxford Community Store, affectionately known as Jack's, and transform the store to an even bigger hub of commerce, town life, and love. Through their hard work the store has flourished over the years providing delicious meals, groceries and goods to the residents of Boxford.

He owned and operated many businesses over the course of his life and was not afraid to take chances. Wayne's love of cars never diminished and he made his passion his profession. He was the founder of three Executive Livery Businesses providing transportation services to the North Shore Community and beyond, all the while overseeing the success of the store. His work ethic was legendary. Often driving early morning runs to the airport and finishing his days closing up the community store or a late-night pickup for a client. He was always willing to be the best provider for his family that he could be.

A longtime resident and pillar of the Boxford community, Wayne had an innate ability to endear himself to others. Whether with a spirited joke, an elaborate anecdote, or a hearty handshake (and often all three) Wayne made an impression on people. He was a natural born storyteller; full of fun, laughter, and the ability to bring others joy. He would give the shirt off his back to help a friend in need and if you met Wayne once, you were his friend for life. He was a staple in town and enjoyed being the unofficial mayor of Boxford. He would greet you by name with an out stretched hand and an ear-to-ear grin. He continually gave of himself to his family, his friends, and to the town of Boxford.

He was a Mason and former member of St. John's Lodge, A.F. & A.M. of Newburyport as well as a Shriner and member of the Alleppo Shrine Temple of Wilmington.

Wayne's greatest joy in life has come from his family and becoming a papa to his beloved grandchildren. He and his family were honored by the people of Boxford for providing an everlasting memory and trip to Disney World upon his cancer diagnosis. But it wasn't just the trip that made it so special; it was the outpouring of love, care and concern by his friends and neighbors that made this moment in Wayne's life so special. Wayne had a deeply profound impact on the Town of Boxford and its residents and will be eternally remembered by going to Wayne's and raising a cold one (soda only) in his memory. He will be deeply missed.

Wayne is survived by his loving wife of 39 years, Jane Alice (Doughty) Merrill of Boxford, his daughter, Arlene "AJ" Whelan and her husband Heath of Methuen, his son, David Merrill and his wife Kara (Giangrasso) of Boxford and their children, Elizabeth "Elle" and Jackson "Jax" Merrill, his son Keith Merrill of England, his sisters Gail Holleran of North Andover, Marilyn Reardon of Newburyport, Raylene Proctor and her husband David of Seabrook, N.H., his step siblings, Randy Dow and his wife Jerry of Naples, Fl and Gwen Fowler and her husband David of Las Vegas, NV and many nieces, nephews, extended family and close friends. He was the brother of the late Ralph Merrill and Clifford Dow.

ARRANGEMENTS: His funeral service will be held in the First Church Congregational Boxford, 4 Georgetown Rd., Boxford, Saturday, Sept. 7th at 1:30 P.M. Relatives and friends invited. Burial in Village Cemetery, Boxford. Visiting hours in the Peterson-O'Donnell Funeral Home, 167 Maple St., (rte 620 Danvers, Friday, Sept. 6th from 4 to 8 P.M. In honor of the wonderful and loving care Wayne received during his illness, donations may be made in his memory to Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, C/O Philanthropy, 41 Mall Rd., Burlington, MA 01805. To share a memory or offer a condolence, please visit

Suggested Memorial Donations

  • In honor of the wonderful and loving care Wayne received during his illness, donations may be made in his memory to Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, C/O Philanthropy, 41 Mall Rd., Burlington, MA 01805.

Message from the Family

Thank you for your support during this difficult time.
Please enhance this tribute to Wayne by adding your memories and photos.

Arrangements By

Peterson-O'Donnell Funeral Home

Peterson-O'Donnell Funeral Home
167 Maple Street, Danvers, MA 01923
Map  | Profile

View Phone Number
Email Us