OBITUARY

Warren Francis Merlino

December 16, 1960January 3, 2021
Obituary of Warren Francis Merlino
Warren Francis Merlino, age 60, died on Sunday, January 3, 2021, after suffering a heart attack in his home in Louisville in the arms of his children and wife. He is survived by his wife Cheryl Ronni Merlino, daughter Kinsey Niccole Merlino, son Kyle Christian Merlino, and brother Paul Gerard Merlino and his wife Eiko and sons Michael and James - Paul who live in London, England. Also surviving are Cheryl’s Father and Mother (Wanda and James Ronni) and her Sisters Diane Ronni Blunk and family and Sandy Ronni Engelkamp and her family. He is preceded in death by his Father Walter Louis Merlino and his Mother Mary June Merlino of Dunedin, Florida. His grandparents on both paternal and maternal sides are all deceased. Warren was born on December 16, 1960, in New York City where he grew up as the son of a New York City homicide detective. He and his brother have shared many colorful stories over the years from their childhood in the “big apple”, some funny, some gut-wrenching, and all very entertaining. When their detective Father decided to retire from the NYC police force, they migrated South to Dunedin, Florida in 1970. Warren graduated from Dunedin High School and then went to college at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida where he met his life long best friend Robert Waters, PhD, and he graduated with a BS degree in Political Science in 1982. He earned a Master’s Degree in Business from Emory University in Atlanta in 1985. He married his college girlfriend and later divorced. Warren was a consummate salesman, so when he started his career at Ciba-Geigy Pharmaceuticals, he was destined for great achievements. He successfully earned many promotions during his entire career. He met Cheryl when she was in a Sales Training class as a Geigy Pharmaceuticals sales representative in 1990. Warren was the Sales Training Manager and they had an “instant attraction” to each other, even against “company policy”…and the rest is history! Warren and Cheryl married on April 17, 1994, at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. It was a “cocktail party wedding” on a Saturday night as they wanted to have their anniversary be the date that they met in the Sales Training department in New Jersey so that Warren would never forget their anniversary date (which he always remembered with Tiffany gifts!). The 17th was on a Sunday, so guests ate and drank until Midnight when their wedding ceremony began. Warren always joked that the Minister seemed a little tipsy and wondered if we were really married because he thought the Minister pronounced the marriage of “Wayne and Shirley”! (Yes, the marriage certificate confirms that Warren and Cheryl married that night)! Warren’s standout career at Novartis (which acquired Ciba-Geigy) launched with him being promoted many times…Warren and Cheryl began the first of their eight corporate relocations in eleven years, which included Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Denver, San Francisco, Santa Fe, Honolulu, Seattle, and back to Denver! Anyone that remembers Warren in his earlier days, knows he barely left Dunedin, Florida, and he turned down a White House fellowship in DC, as well as a scholarship to Pepperdine University in California so he wouldn’t have to move! But, he embraced his new lifestyle of travel and relocation as he was promoted in Managed Care, District and Regional Sales Director roles, and next with Bristol-Myers Squibb, which took our family to Hawaii. Warren topped off his remarkable career in the fulfillment “space” for the pharmaceutical industry at Promotech that led him to starting up his own logistics/fulfillment company (EPIC Fulfillment), which was acquired by one of his customers. Warren always felt grateful to meet new friends in the cities we moved to and was fortunate to have met quite a few of his “BFF’s” along the way, including the Dimitrions and Wongs in Hawaii, Don Seitzinger in Seattle, the Canteys in Arkansas, the Lofstedts and Steven McGimpsey in Colorado, Terry Herring in New Hope, and Ringo Starr, the Maltese Poodle who was “joined at the hip” to him for the last four years and introduced him to his Dog Park friends. Warren either tagged them with nicknames or called them “Uncle”. He was naturally inquisitive and curious, and he had a unique ability to extract information out of people that they didn’t necessarily want to divulge—you just couldn’t help but confess the truth when he started asking questions! Warren was fun-loving and engaging with a magnetic personality which drew everyone to him. Everyone seems to have a funny story to share with us and he always had a way of making people laugh, a rare gift! Lastly, Warren’s proudest accomplishment in life was the birth of his two children, Kinsey and Kyle. Never was there any Father that was more proud of his kids than Warren was. He was able to be a great Father to them, but also a great friend. He was an inspirational provider, protector, role model, and teacher. He showed undying love and respect for their Mother which in turn taught them their strong values and how to treat their friends and loved ones. He was playful with them and delighted in the fun of acting like a kid himself! He was thrilled when they both chose CU-Boulder for college which was a ten-minute drive from our house. Warren and Cheryl were actually invited to many college “parent” parties over the years at their houses and you can imagine Warren always being the only sober person there! Kinsey and Kyle wanted to say in their own words that their Daddy was a “larger than life” man who everyone wanted to call a friend. He lived by the motto: “it doesn’t take months to get to know someone” and therefore, he knew people better than their own families did, in some cases. There was nothing in life that he loved more than his children that he nicknamed “Doodle” and “Freak” and his wife “Momma”. Heaven got a great one! Enjoy a Coca-Cola and burger for us up there, Daddy! You will be forever loved and missed. There are not enough words to truly express our heartfelt appreciation for the outpouring of love we have been receiving. Even if we haven’t responded (yet), please know that your support, love, and kindness is a great source of comfort for Kinsey, Kyle and I during this time. Warren’s impact and legacy will live on in all of our hearts and lives forever. You may access the service that was held through this link: https://youtu.be/fKqFxtpQWxg

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Past Services

Monday, January 11, 2021

Visitation

Monday, January 18, 2021

Private Memorial Service