Merlin G. Tolles, a lifelong resident of Princetown passed away at Ellis Hospital on Sunday November 5, 2017. He was a graduate of Draper High School and was a lifelong member of the Princetown Evangelical Presbyterian Church.
As a young person, Merlin was a member of the Mountain View 4H club. He received several blue ribbons for his vegetables at the Altamont Fair. He served his country in the Army National Guard in the A Company 105th Armored Rifle Battalion 27th division for 7 years at Fort Drum, NY.
Merlin retired from the NYS DOT after 40 years of service as a maintenance worker, clerk and supervisor. He was also president of the Schenectady Chapter of the CSEA for 3 years. He belonged to the CSEA-AFCME and the retired public employees’ association.
Merlin was a patriot life member of the NRA since 1965. He was a life member of the North American Hunting Club since 1967. Merlin was a life member of the citizen’s committee for the right to keep and bear arms since 1978. He received the citizen of the year award from this organization three times. Merlin was also a member of the Wildlife Forever Organization, the NYS Sheriff’s Association and the Second Amendment Association.
Merlin was passionate about hunting, fishing, gardening and was a fan of NASCAR and Jeff Gordon. He also enjoyed the Green Bay Packers, LA Lakers and the LA Dodgers.
He is predeceased by his parents George and Ida (Countryman) Tolles, sister in law Janet Contois, son in law Gerald Gendron, daughter in law Rosemary Grugan and his in laws William and Lillian Weisenforth.
Merlin is survived by his wife Joan M. Tolles, four step children Deborah Ortega (Raul) of Arizona, M. Gerald Grugan of Troy, Terry A. Garvey of South Carolina and Dawn M. Gendron of Cohoes. He is also survived by 13 step grandchildren and 13 step great grandchildren, a brother in law William Weisenforth (Georgianna) and a brother in law Gerard Contois as well as several cousins.
Funeral Services for Merlin will be Friday 1PM at the Princetown Evangelical Presbyterian Church 3662 Giffords Church Road Duanesburg. Calling hours will be Thursday evening 5-7PM at the Bond Funeral Home 1614 Guilderland Avenue Schenectady.
Interment will be in Schenectady Memorial Park in Rotterdam.
Contributions can be made in Merlin’s memory to the Princetown Evangelical Presbyterian Church Scholarship Fund.