Richard Mathias Merck

July 17, 1942 ~ March 7, 2020 (age 77)


On March 7, 2020, Richard Mathias Merck, loving husband, father, and grandfather, passed away peacefully at home in Portland, Oregon, surrounded by family, at the age of 77.

“Dick” Merck was born July 17, 1942 in Portland, Oregon, to Matt and Mary Ann (Babic) Merck. Dick graduated from Portland’s Holy Cross Grade School and Jesuit High School before attending the University of Portland.

In 1963, Dick married Linda Ferschweiler of Saint Paul, Oregon. Together, they raised five children: Rick, Lisa, Tim, Mike, and Billy.

In 1967, Dick founded Merck Realty in North Portland with his father. In addition to real estate, Dick created many other businesses that often involved working with his children as partners. Family, community, and helping people were always at the center of Dick’s work.

In addition to family, Dick had a passion for helping in his North Portland community. He was heavily involved in volunteering at Holy Cross and was a member of several altruistic organizations, including Portsmouth Little League, Peninsula Optimist Club, St. Johns Jaycees, Knights of Columbus, North Portland Eagles, St. Johns Kiwanis, and Roosevelt High School Boosters. In 2007, Dick’s volunteerism was recognized when he and son Rick were named St. Johns Parade Citizens of the Year.  

Over the years, Dick’s interests included cribbage, Scrabble, golf, poker, and various collections his children will gladly tell you about. Dick also loved escaping to the Oregon Coast with his family. An enduring image to anyone involved in an event with Dick’s children is Dick and Linda on the sideline together.

Dick is preceded in death by parents Matt and Mary Ann Merck, and wife Linda. Dick is survived by his daughter and son-in-law Lisa (Merck) and Ken Rueckert of Vancouver, Washington; sons Rick, Tim, and Mike Merck of Portland; son, daughter-in-law and grandson, Dr. Billy, Kat, and Felix Merck of Camas, Washington; and brother-in-law Don Ferschweiler of St. Paul, Oregon.

Out of concern for guests, a celebration of life will occur this July.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions can be made to Holy Cross Catholic School, the Portland Peninsula Optimist Club, or Legacy Hospice (Portland).


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