William "Bill" Merkel

William "Bill" Taylor Merkel

1945 - 2021

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Obituary of William "Bill" Taylor Merkel

William Taylor Merkel died peacefully just before midnight on Thursday, February 25th, from complications of Lewy Body Dementia. He spent his last days in the company of his loving family who read him his favorite poems and ate chocolate on his behalf. Bill was born to Ellen and Edward Merkel in Washington, DC on May 20, 1945. He graduated from Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati, OH before attending Duke University. At age 19, he embarked on one of the greatest adventures of his life and spent over a year traveling through Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa by motorcycle. On his return, he graduated from Wesleyan University and then went on to earn a master’s degree in political science. Bill had a brief foray in advertising and coined the slogan “get off your apathy!” before completing a PhD in clinical psychology. As a psychologist, he worked in private practice and medical education, most recently at Providence Portland Medical Center, where he delighted in supporting young physicians in caring for the whole person. His most meaningful adventure was fatherhood. His 3 kids were his greatest joy; he taught them to eat ice cream for dinner, love the woods, and traverse the world. Bill always put motivational notes in their lunch boxes but sadly, no one could decipher his scrawl. He was happiest traveling with the kids in France, though eating a palmier with them at Ken’s Artisan Bakery ranked a close second. He was a silly, loving, and very human human who cheated at pick-up sticks. Bill was committed to living as fully as he was able for as long as he was able after his diagnosis with Lewy Body Dementia; he surprised all of his doctors with his ability to do so and succeeded with the support of family and friends. He is survived by his 3 children, Emily, Christopher, and Allison Merkel; brother, Ted Merkel (Jayne); and many other loving family members and friends. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association and enjoying a decadent dessert in memory of Bill.
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