OBITUARY

Warren Francis Merlino

December 16, 1960January 3, 2021
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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

Services

  • Visitation

    Monday, January 11, 2021

  • Private Memorial Service

    Monday, January 18, 2021

    VIEW VIDEO

Memories

Warren Francis Merlino

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Tina Wenstrom

June 18, 2021

I was an employee of promotech. At a company christmas party, I think it was, made totally unforgettable by Warren singing "werewolves of london". To this day, my husband Kevin and I, always, every time we hear that song, think of him singing. And doing it so good really.
I heard that song this morning. Then decided to google him.
What I found, was, he has passed. I truly am very sorry for your loss.
God bless you all,
Tina Wenstrom

William Markham

February 18, 2021

Warren and I met when he became my Regional Business Director in the West for Bristol Myers Squibb. Our boss Steve Greco told me I was going to like him. He was right.
Immediately Warren became "Boomer" and I was "Thriller" till this day. One of our primary functions was to recruit and hire reps. Boomer loved meeting the candidates, asking questions and especially making job offers. Most candidates responded to their offers gratefully emotionally. Following a gleeful exchange where the new hire went running to a phone to call her family with the good news, Boomer turned to me and said "Thriller, don't you just love making people's dreams come true?"
Pause...
To this day, each hire I make, I recall Boomer Merlino's prophetic words.
Yes I do buddy!!!
Boomer lives forever.
Thriller

Holly Horncastle

February 5, 2021

A realization I had and want to share with the family.

I bet others have very similar stories but it took me about 28 years to put into words one of the most special things about Warren.

I shared the link to Warren’s service on my Facebook page, and I commented “This is the man that taught me to believe in myself...” along with something about Beatles music being played in Heaven. Warren’s passing really hit me hard, and I was a little surprised, as although we all know Warren was special, I didn’t communicate with him and Cheryl that often... once or twice a year at the very best. As I looked back at my FB post over the days friends commented, it HIT me! WARREN MERLINO was truly the person who made that huge difference and made me believe in myself and that I could do anything. He taught me many other things, but I had the profound realization that his influence in my young adulthood had literally helped direct my life in a positive direction. How can working for someone for less than a year have that kind of impact?!! If you knew Warren at all, you know it is more than possible. I am so very very grateful for his leadership, his belief in me, and the wonderful role models he and Cheryl have been to me... even from far distances.

My husband had a chance to meet Warren and Cheryl twice when we lived in Denver for a brief stint, and it is amazing how many “Warrenisms” we took from two outings! We laughed til we cried at dinner and brunch with them, and took away many fun memories. From TWO meals :).

He could find humor in absolutely anything and was such a joyous person. The loud, gruff guy from the Bronx NY who had the biggest heart on earth and left wonderful memories and lessons for all who knew him.

He was one of a kind! ❤️

suzi talaric

February 4, 2021

Cheryl, Kinsey and Kyle,
It is with great sadness in my heart I am writing this...My thoughts and prayer are with all of you. I remember when you moved into our neighborhood and coming over to your home and seeing your Elvis collection and memorabilia, from one fan to the other I so appreciated Warren's collection and stories of his findings. Warren always loved to make us laugh especially me... I laughed at everything he said, I looked so forward to seeing him at all of our kids sporting events there on the sidelines. I would stand right next to him and I was entertained by his play by play of the game or anything he chose to humor me with. Oh! Warren you will be missed on earth. May you rest in entertaining everyone in heaven.
Suzi Talaric

William Markham

January 19, 2021

Cheryl, Kinsey &Kyle,
Boomer was my first RSD at BMS. What a ride we had. Best funnest boss I had in industry. Broke my heart when we had to reorganize. Broke my heart again this last few weeks. Rosary and Masses for you guys. I will remember you all forever.
Love,
Thriller

David Bassin

January 19, 2021

I have learned that during the course of a career, you meet people that have a profound impact on you. Warren was one of those people for me. I learned a lot from his enthusiasm, genuineness, and approach to people. We will miss him.

Bob and Karen Bush

January 18, 2021

Cheryl, Kinsey, and Kyle,

We had the opportunity to watch your tribute to Warren today, and we just wanted to let you know what an incredible job you did...the entire memorial service was perfect. We have been talking about all the wonderful times we had together and the laughs we shared. No matter what the circumstance, Warren always brought a smile to our faces. He was an incredible gift from God...thank you for putting together such a beautiful program. The stories and all the pictures brought back some great memories. We are truly going to miss him.

God Bless,

Bob and Karen Bush

Keith Axelrod

January 18, 2021

To the Merlino family, my condolences to you! I know I have not seen or spoken to any of you in a while, but I wanted to share a note because of the impact Warren had on my life. There are so many things that I still use in my professional career and in my life that Warren taught me. I run a Human Resources firm now and train employees all over the country and continue to use examples and stories that Warren provided to me during our years together. While Kyle may not remember, I even coached his soccer team for a bit and remember how fun it was to just be a part of that and how you all always welcomed me as a friend and part of your family. The times in Blackhawk were always amazing and I still blame Warren for the one slot machine addiction I have today :). I will never forget him and if there is anything I can ever do for any of you, please reach out to me without hesitation!

Keith

Mark & Ellen Vallee

January 18, 2021

Many great memories of chats with Warren out walking Ringo & when a pup retrieving him after a jail break from across the pond!

One that stands out in CCR neighborhood history is a late night 4th of July bottle rocket war several yeras ago with our gang including the notorious bad boy Robbie Bent stoking the flames from our side with a few "accidental" stray shots fired across the pond and deck!
Just recalling hearing Warren's booming voice yelling "missed me Bent" and Robbie yelling back a less than gracious Scottish obscenity - Thank god nobody was hurt we think and all in good fun! truly a wondeful memory of Warren!

Mark & Ellen Vallee & Family

Tom Sottile

January 18, 2021

Warren was my friend and I am deeply saddened to learn of his passing. I remember Warren as a warm caring soul who would do anything for a friend and if you were not his friend he would quickly remedy that as well. He was a wonderful story teller and used laughter and humor to connect with people. Warren's personality was magnetic and he was at ease speaking with the great and powerful as well as the common man and woman and they were at ease with him. Warren's love for his family was paramount and he took great pride in his marriage with Cheryl and in raising Kinsey and Kyle. They are all living legacies to his love and warmth. Warren had a gift of nicknaming people including himself because all of his nicknames stuck. He called me ToSo and it wasn't long before others did the same. He was self-proclaimed Wawa or Boomer and everyone knew those monikers. He would refer to me as his, "Brother from another Mother," and maybe he said that to a lot of people but he made me feel like we we really were brothers. And that was another gift that warren shared, and that was his ability to care about others and make you feel special to him. My deepest sympathy and sincere condolences to Cheryl, Kinsey and Kyle. God Speed Warren, I love you brother.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

At Senator Gardner’s Victory party

FROM THE FAMILY

Proud Father (Kinsey is 10 days old)

FROM THE FAMILY

Warren used to sing a song about “Kinsey Doodle Doo”... and that nickname is still with her!

FROM THE FAMILY

First Christmas with our first child

FROM THE FAMILY

Our wedding night at Caesars where our tipsy minister pronounced Wayne & Shirley as man & wife!

FROM THE FAMILY

A fairly recent picture of Daddy, Doodle and Freak

FROM THE FAMILY

One of our first dates at Sicillian Ristorante in Las Vegas...we ate here for 30 years (and probably 30 pounds!?!).

FROM THE FAMILY

Warren and “The Canteyman” in front of a t-shirt shop in Louisiana... he loved his
t-shirts!