Kenneth Haven Merrell passed away on May 28, 2014, at his home in Fairfield, after a nearly two-year battle with cancer. He was 73.
Kenneth was born in Lubbock, Texas, in 1940 to Aubrey and Billie Merrell, both who preceded him in death.
From 1961 to 1968, he served in the Navy, largely working as a nuclear reactor operator on submarines. After leaving the Navy, he attended UC Davis, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering. He paid his way through college by working as a roughneck on oil rigs in the summers. Upon graduation, he went to work as a nuclear engineer for the Department of the Navy at Mare Island Naval Shipyard from 1971 to 1995.
Shortly after retirement, Kenneth decided to pursue a second career, teaching math. This latter career brought him great fulfillment. From 1995 to 2001, he taught at Green Valley Middle School and after retirement continued to work as a substitute teacher, mostly at Rodriguez High School.
Kenneth was an avid sports fan all his life. His various hobbies included golf, bridge and learning foreign languages, particularly Italian. He was a big fan of the Rodriguez High School wrestling team and loved to attend all their meets. He also greatly enjoyed attending his grandchildren’s sporting events.
Kenneth was a very active member of Holy Spirit Church, where he served as an usher and a eucharistic minister.
Outgoing and gregarious, he sustained a ceaselessly cheerful attitude and zest for life, infectious to all those around him. Kenneth was happiest when surrounded by his family, and likewise brought them great joy.
He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Linda Merrell; brother, Randy (Lynn) Merrell; sons, William (Lorna) Merrell and Richard (Tammi) Merrell; daughter, Katherine Merrell; stepsons, David (DeeAnna) Cossu, and Brian (Tracy) Cossu; stepdaughter, Melinda Cossu; grandchildren, Samantha, Dylan, Ryan, Karoline, Jack, Taylor, Bridget, Christopher and Matthew.
He was preceded in death by his mother, father and sister, Lynda (John) Duncan.
A viewing will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. with a recital of the rosary at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, June 8, 2014, at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 1050 N. Texas St., Fairfield, Calif. Funeral Mass will be at 11 a.m. Monday, June 9, 2014, at Holy Spirit Catholic Church. Father Michael Downey will officiate both services. Burial will be in Rockville Cemetery.
Arrangements under the care of Bryan-Braker Funeral Home, www.bryanbraker.com.