Nickerson Funeral Home

77 Eldredge Park Way, Orleans, MA


B. Gilbert Merritt

April 20, 1942July 21, 2020

B. Gilbert Merritt, 78

ORLEANS Gilbert Merritt died at home surrounded by his family on July 21, 2020 after a two year struggle with cancer. Gilbert was born on April 20, 1942 in Wilmington, NC to Ella May and Ben Merritt. He grew up in Concord, NC and graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1964. He married Elizabeth Whitefield on August 14, 1965. Following two years of graduate school at UNC the Merritts moved to Cleveland, OH where Gilbert worked as a chemist with Eveready Battery Co. During his 33 year career with Eveready the Merritts lived in Berea, OH, Danbury, CT, St. Louis, MO and Hong Kong. Gilbert retired in 1998 as Vice President of Technical Marketing with Energizer.

In 2001 the Merritts moved to Cape Cod where they had vacationed for several years. Drawing on his love of scouting, kayaking and the outdoors he worked for ten years at Eastern Mountain Sports in Hyannis. In his retirement years he enjoyed traveling with Elizabeth, family and friends. He was a member of several town committees in Orleans and a devoted volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and the Museum of Natural History in Brewster. Gilbert was an active member of The Church of the Holy Spirit in Orleans.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Elizabeth, his sons Michael and Thomas and his wife, Jackie and his granddaughter, Lila and his sister, May Benson.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to: St. Fiacre Fund of The Church of the Holy Spirit in Orleans, or Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster, MA or Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod, Yarmouthport, MA. A celebration of his life will be held in the fall at The Church of the Holy Spirit.

For online condolences please visit www.nickersonfunerals.com.


  • A celebration of his life will be held in the fall at The Church of the Holy Spirit.


B. Gilbert Merritt

have a memory or condolence to add?

Shannon Goheen

August 8, 2020

Gilbert was such a lovely person! I had the pleasure of working with him in designing and installing a few projects at the Church of the Holy Spirit. I was even lucky enough to join him for lunch at his favorite Orleans spot a couple of years ago. He was a terrific person in every way and I miss him.

Gail Meyers Lavin

August 5, 2020

Gil and I never had a conversation, but I could always count on him to say yes to my email plea before every election asking if he and Elizabeth would host one or more Orleans Select Board candidates’ signs in their excellent location! Fortunately they never said no - AND I’m pretty sure none of our candidates ever lost either!!

Reading about his life, I regret not having gotten to know him in person - and send my deepest condolences to Elizabeth and the family.

Nancy McMahan

August 3, 2020

I am so sorry for your loss. Gil will be greatly missed on Monday mornings at Homeport with the rest of the guys for coffee and breakfast. I remember the day he and Gil had coffee and he called the restaurant and asked me to bring him coffee out in the dining room because I was stuck on the counter. Still makes me chuckle.

sue gatti

July 28, 2020

Gilbert was one of the first people I worked with on my home. He was a great, and patient teacher. He called me and two others his girls. I will always cherish the time I had with him. When he came to my dedication, I was honored, because I knew how sick he was. He said he wanted to see "his girl", You will truly be missed. Prayers to his family

Bonnie Brenner

July 28, 2020

I was so saddened to hear about the loss of Gilbert. My sincerest condolences to Elizabeth and sons. We met through our shared women’s group of PEO and with Elizabeth at our social gathering and our spouses, Elliot was always a warm greeter and made you feel very comfortable. We’ve lost a wonderful person. Our deepest sympathy

Bonnie and Peter Brenner

Michael Cirincione

July 28, 2020

I had the pleasure of working side by side w Gilbert on several Habitat builds! He was also a neighbor (we were on Clayton). Gilbert would drive by and stop and chat when he saw me sidewalling or replacing windows! He was an inspiration to many!

Dan Zoto

July 27, 2020

I'm sorry to hear of Gilbert's passing. I always enjoyed our conversations. He was always very kind and pleasant to speak with. I learned so much about nature from him.

Stan Selkow

July 27, 2020

Gilbert was my mentor for Mudflat Mania at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History. His knowledge, kindness, and SMILE will always be in my memories. My condolences to his family...

Ruth Vought

July 26, 2020

Dear Elizabeth,
I’m so sorry to hear about Gilbert’s passing. He was very special and you shared a special love. I am so grateful to have know him. As his hygienist for so many years, he made my day when we would listen to jazz music together and talk about the yummy recipes he would create. I will miss him! God bless you and give you peace in the coming days.
In loving memory,

Nancy Stewart

July 26, 2020

We are so sad to learn of Gilbert's passing. From the moment we met him at EMS several years ago, he became a friend. He was the motivation for many kayaking and hiking adventures. Gilbert always encouraged us to be a part of so many activities and never once made us feel as if we could not be a participant, especially when we were paddling newbies! With his excellent and patient coaching, he made sure we were not newbies for long! Gilbert was a genuinely caring and giving person...just being around him brought joy!
We send our sympathy and thoughts to Gilbert's family...we never met you, but felt as if we knew you, as Gilbert would always speak so fondly and often of his very beloved family.
Thinking of you...
Nancy & Kevin Stewart


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