Neary Quinn Funeral Home

39 South Street, Manasquan, NJ


Robert Thomas Merriken

December 4, 1949May 17, 2020

Robert Thomas Merriken of Spring Lake Heights, NJ, was born in Baltimore, Maryland. He spent much of his youth in Ocean City and Annapolis, where his love for boats and the sea was borne. He was 70 years old.

Robert was an avid sailor, captaining boats to the Virgin Islands and Florida throughout his life. It was in St. Thomas that he met Bonnie Dickson at Antilles Airboats; the two married on a sailboat in the islands and later moved to Manasquan, New Jersey to bear two children, Rob and Heather.

He was owner/operator of Bay Head Marine in Bay Head, NJ for over 20 years. Robert was an outstanding joke-teller and enjoyed playing guitar, skiing, and tinkering. He was mechanically gifted and helped design boat modifications for state and local government vessels. He loved dogs, especially his daschunds, Zoe and Emma.

He was predeceased by his father, Thomas William Merriken, wife Rita Murphy, son, Robert Dickson Merriken, and former wife, Bonnie Dickson. He is survived by his mother, Mary Jean Emigh, brother, Steve Kight, sisters, Kathy Ockershausen and Bonny Jean Condon, daughter, Heather Merriken, and many other friends and family members.

Services will be held privately and his ashes will be cast at sea at a later date. Prayers and good vibes are welcome. Donations can be made in his name to the Monmouth County SPCA.


  • Private Services


Robert Thomas Merriken

have a memory or condolence to add?

Robert Dickson

May 24, 2020

May Robert Rest In Peace.
Many Blessing upon his loved ones he left behind.

Kathy Ockershausen

May 22, 2020

My larger than life little brother, I will miss you more than words can ever express. I see your handsome face every time I allow myself to accept you aren't in my world.
Thank you for sharing the time you had with me. And for the love you had for me and the rest of your family.
I think about the Christmases we had and you playing your guitar for us. You were always so talented.
I love you and the memories I have of you and will miss you for the rest of my life.

Lucinda Woods

May 21, 2020

So many memories.
Always a good friend.
Love to you and your family, Heather. I am so very sorry.

Surf & Offshore

May 21, 2020

Heather and family, we are so very sorry to hear of Roberts passing. He was a long time friend spanning many years. Fair winds and following seas Robert, rest easy...
Your friends from Surf & Offshore
George, Craig & Courtney

Heather Merriken

May 21, 2020

Thank you for this beautiful poem. These days have so little comfort and the memories and kind words of his friends have been fuel for my heart. Thank you.

Kathleen C.

May 21, 2020

So sorry to learn of Robert's passing. He and Rita were among our favorite people. May they both rest in peace.

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.

Sharon Maida

May 21, 2020

We shall always remember our times on the water boating with Robert! Always a joke on hand and a kind word toward our kids! God speed🙏🏼


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