When lifelong Five Towns resident Fill Merber was not spending time with his family and friends, you could find him tanning on a beach somewhere.
Merber died at his Woodmere home on May 5 from natural causes. He was 93.
Born Fillmore Arnold Merber on Jan. 20, 1927, Merber grew up in Woodmere and attended Lawrence High School. After high school, Merber served in the United States Navy during World War II as he enlisted as a 17-year-old after lying about his age.
After his service, Merber played drums in a jazz trio that would perform at local restaurants. He sold storm windows door to door before entering the life insurance business, where he became a successful agent with Home Life Insurance Company.
Merber married the love of his life, Marry Yannello, in 1953 and they would have three children that they raised in Woodmere. One of his children, Mitchell Merber, recalls the love his parents had for each other.
“They raised the three of us children with love, fun and affection that we will always appreciate,” Mitchell said. “We will always cherish those memories of the Five Towns from back in the day. Mom passed away in 2017 and he missed her by his side every day since then.”
Along with spending summers at the beach clubs in Atlantic Beach, Mitchell noted that his parents spent their retirement years vacationing for months at a time at the Moana Surfrider Hotel in Oahu, Hawaii.
“They were treated like royalty by the entire resort staff,” Mitchell added. “We used to say the lobby was their living room, the snack bar was their kitchen, and all the guests were just visiting mom and dad to see how they were doing.”
Predeceased by his wife of 64 years, Mary, and his sister Peggy, Merber is survived by his three children: Michael, Mitchell and his wife Vicki and Marc. He is also survived by three grandchildren: Adam, Kyle and Casey.
The Merber family said a memorial service will be held in the future for Merber with a date to be determined. “Dad lived his life to the fullest as he was 93 and still had his ponytail,” Mitchell said. “Our family thanks everyone for their thoughts, prayers, and memories at this difficult time."