Richard Andrew Merkh died in his home on October 3, 2018, in Chula Vista, California, at the age of 37.
Richard is survived by his loving and caring wife, Thea Marie (Demma) Merkh, and his beautiful, wonderful daughter Evalina Grace Merkh. Richard and Thea have been married for over 12 years. He is also survived by his father, Timothy Karl Merkh Sr., his mother, Amy Frances (Letchworth) Merkh; his brother, Timothy Karl Merkh Jr. and his wife Lavonne Elizabeth (Tull) Merkh, and their children Morgan Elizabeth Tull, Timothy Karl Merkh III, and Tristan James Merkh; his brother, Daniel Joseph Merkh and his wife Amy Caroline (Peeke) Merkh and their children Joel Roman Panter, Ben Pierce Panter, and Cora Rose Merkh; along with his comrades in arms with whom he served his Nation.
Richard was born on April 16, 1981, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, in Goldsboro North Carolina, to Tim and Fran Merkh. He graduated from High School in Knob Noster Missouri, and attended several years of college at Central Missouri State University.
HM1 (FMF) Richard A. Merkh joined the Navy on November 19, 2002 from his hometown of Knob Noster, Missouri. After boot camp and Hospital Corps School he was assigned to 2nd Marine division where he was stationed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and then deployed to Al’ Qaim, Iraq with 3rd Battalion 2nd Regiment . During this 2005 deployment to Iraq he was awarded the Navy Commendation with Valor for his actions during a mass casualty.
After that he was assigned to Naval Health Clinic Great Lakes where he worked for 1 year as an emergency Medical Technician and then became the Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) Coordinator for the next 2 years where he taught 25 courses to over 500 corpsman.
He then returned to 2nd Marine Division, 1st Battalion 8th Regiment and deployed to Musa Qala, Afghanistan as part of Head and Support Company. Here he assisted with the treatment and recovery of over 200 trauma patients.
Next he went overseas to Naval Hospital Naples, Italy and was first the Leading Petty Officer (LPO) of Human Resources and then LPO of Medical Home Port. While there he decided to become a Dive Medical Technician and submitted his package to the C School detailer and was told to go to IDC School first. This is what he did.
He then attended IDC School and graduated with class 16015 on April 7, 2017 with orders to Dive School as planned. Those orders could not be fulfilled due to his diagnosis with stage IV colorectal cancer a week before his IDC graduation.
He then worked as an Instructor at the IDC School where he taught Navy Correspondence, TCCC, and Trauma Medicine each week he did not undergo chemotherapeutic treatments. He underwent over 24 infusions of chemo which totals over 1100 hours of treatment.
After a long struggle with his cancer, God was gracious and called him home. During his fight with this disease, he always stayed the course and was true to his Lord and Savior. He was a wonderful, gracious, and loving husband and father. He was a great quick-witted man, a loyal, compassionate and caring leader who loved and cherished his fellow comrades in arms.
He will be missed by all, but if you knew Richard, you would know that he would want you to know his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, as he did (John 3:16). Richard’s favorite verse is 2 Timothy 1:7.
In lieu of flowers, the family request Donation to the Fisher House Foundation- www.fisherhouse.org
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- Date: October 11, 2018
- Time: 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
- Location: Legacy Funeral & Cremation Care
- Address: 7043 University Ave La Mesa, CA 91942-5954
- Directions: Legacy Funeral & Cremation Care
Celebration of Life
- Date: October 12, 2018
- Time: 10:30 AM
- Location: Surface Warfare Medical Institute
- Address: 34101 Farenholt Avenue, Building 14 San Diego CA 92134
- Directions: Surface Warfare Medical Institute