Robert Kay Merrell

Aug 8, 1948 – Jun 27, 2007

Robert Kay Merrell obituary image 1



Bob left us prematurely at the age of 58. Born August 8, 1948. Passed Away June 27, 2007. Loving father, companion, and dear friend. A true entrepreneur, he started and ran several marine related businesses over the course of 35 years. His many hobbies included flying, boating, racing cars, skiing, sports cars, and his favorite by far – dancing. He had an amazing enthusiasm and passion for life. An outstanding role model for everyone that had the privilege to know him. He has continued an incredible legacy that is passing down through generation after generation. He loved people – He loved life – He loved to dance. He is survived by his son, John Lyle, and daughter, Elizabeth Leigh, and a multitude of loving family and friends. A memorial service will be held Sunday July 8, 2007 at 11:00AM at Bonney-Watson Washington Memorial Park, 16445 International Blvd, SeaTac. Please sign the online memorial guest book at and share your precious memories. Memorials may be made to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, in his name.


Chris Holl
San Diego, CA
Jul 3, 2007

Bob was my best friend and role model from 1979 to 1987, when I moved out of Seattle. Even though 20 years have passed, his significant influence on my life remains strong. The world seems a bit empty without Bob, and I will always remember him with great love and appreciation. Although he left us early, he led a very full and rich life worth celebrating.

My thoughts and prayers go to his many friends, children John and Beth, ex-wife Mary, and Shannon who cared for him with unfailing dedication. Bob told me how lucky he was to have Shannon in his life, and after getting to know her a little I see why. She has amazing strength and was a great comfort to Bob for which she deserves our gratitude.

I have posted my thoughts on and will be creating a lasting dedication page for Bob. Please visit that site to read more.

Chuck Foisie
Seattle, WA
Jul 4, 2007

Bob was a close friend particularly during college. We were roomates for 4 years, learned to fly together. Shared alot of good times. Rest in peace my friend.

Joergen Schade
Mercer Island, WA
Jul 5, 2007

I am sorry that we will not be able to work together on our Ketchikan dream. He will not be forgotten when the project is completed. My sincere condolances. Joergen Schade

Peter Lofgren
Tacoma, WA
Jul 5, 2007

Wonderful person, great to work with and a great great sense of humor ... will be missed terribly.

Chris Pfaffenberger
Williamson, WV
Jul 5, 2007

Bob was a good friend, both at Western Washington University and afterwards in Seattle and Edmonds.

He was an usher at my wedding in November 1972. I have not seen him since then, but think of him often.

Bob was a fun person to be with.

Chris Dahl Pfaffenberger

Charlie & Diane Long
Gig Harbor, WA
Jul 9, 2007

We have just learned of Bob's passing. Such great memories we have, though, going all the way back to our days on the swim team at Red Shield Youth Club in West Seattle. Then, years later, meeting again at Western where, our senior year, we shared a delapidated little white house in Bellingham, a house which long ago was bulldozed in favor of fancy condos. There were four of us in that house and we had a running battle over when to buy oil for the tiny stove that was the sole source of heat. Thrifty Bob always maintained that we could just put on a coat! We went waterskiing behind Bob's little wooden boat, he using a huge, heavy ski he'd made himself! A few years later, Bob was running Cascade Marine in Des Moines and we helped keep him in business, buying stuff for our first boat.

When we remember Bob, there are only happy memories, mostly of a time when we were all young, innocent, and bulletproof. We will miss him.

Dena Levine
Jul 18, 2007

Bob was a wonderful person - funny, caring and loyal to those who were in his life. I was sorry to miss the service and I will miss working with Bob and just shooting the breeze. Rest in peace. Dena

Chris Holl
San Diego, CA
Oct 27, 2007

It's now four months to the day that Bob passed away. I haven't take off the PanCan silicon bracelet “ not that I need to wear it to be reminded of Bob. I think of him quite often, and miss him very much. Sadly, all of my photos of Bob were stolen. I had brought them to Seattle with me for the funeral, and my rental car was broken into and everything was taken. Fortunately, Bob’s family gave me copies of many photos, but it’s not the same as having mine. Over 4,000 people have now seen Bob’s web page on, and occasionally I get an e-mail from someone about it. More than one person has told me it brought tears to their eyes. It’s nice to know that Bob continues to affect people.

Jim Kaminski
St.Petersburg, FL
Jun 2, 2010

Bob joined my Lamborghini club via mail in the early 1980's. 25 years passed before we met. I took a trip to Seattle in Sept,2006 and looked up one of my fellow Lamborghini enthusiasts-Bob. He took me out for a cruise around Lake Washington. including lunch at a waterfront cafe. It was one of my few boat rides in life. Shortly after I assisted him in his quest to buy a Lamborghini Countach, and he got his dream car shortly before he passed away. I was also a long time friend of Chris Holl, and can realize how much Chris learned from him and how much he admired Bob. I just wanted to add my 2 cents here, as I happened to be on Chris's website. Bob appreciated my efforts with my club and that in itself made me feel good. Thats what Bob did for many other people he connected with.

This obituary is provided by Bonney-Watson, providing caring and compassionate funeral, cremation and cemetery services since 1868. We have a professional staff, four funeral homes, two cremation facilities and one of the largest cemeteries south of Seattle, as well as a comprehensive grief support program.