Merker, Donald Stanley – On Wednesday, May 11th, 2022 at Humber River Hospital at the age of 79, just 11 days shy of his 80th birthday. Don Merker was the beloved father to Steve (Cathy), Alli (Matthew), Keith (Lindsay), Brian (Iva), and Ashley, and will provide a lasting legacy for 11 absolutely amazing grandchildren, Kate, Jack, Nathanial, Ceilidh, Beckett, Keagan, Smith, Poet, Remi, Cass, and Gabriel.
Don had an outstanding life. Born in Toronto and raised by immigrant parents, Jack and Sue, he was a natural athlete excelling in numerous sports, most notably freestyle wrestling, football, and paddling. Attending the University of Toronto in the early 1960’s, he won numerous wrestling awards while pursuing his passion in medicine. Don met his first love Judy along this journey, and they created four extraordinary children together. Tennis, skiing, and sailing were frequent activities in the 1970’s and 80’s, as were summers at the beach in Bayfield, Ontario.
Brother Don was close with predeceased sibling Robert “Bob” Merker (Gail), and his three kids Brad, Kim, and Darren (Shayna), each of whose lives he meaningfully touched during those early childhood years.
Dogs were always close to Don, and he had many canine companions during his life. Special mention to Sunny, Gatsby, Beau, and Max. Swimming was another devotion, and warm days were often spent by the pool with Don performing the requisite pool maintenance amongst hankering kids restlessly waiting for approval to dive in.
Dr. Merker was an extremely dedicated family physician for forty-four years. He always had an easy smile and comforting joke and treated every patient equally and with great care. He was bestowed the Peel Memorial Hospital Achievement Award in 1994, recognizing outstanding contributions and longstanding commitment to the hospital, and served as Chief of Family Medicine from 1987 through 1994.
Don was the resident doctor at Camp Onondaga in Minden, Ontario for nine years commencing in 2004, supporting kids in their childhood development in a place that was dear to his heart. Later in his life, Don reconnected with Brenda, a loving friend and caring partner who was close with him throughout his final years.
There are no words to express the grief felt by his family from his loss. We will miss his exceptional love of family, adventure, and life, as well as his relentless humour, occasionally missing the mark with ill-advised quips but more frequently providing snort-worthy laughter. He was a true spirit.
A brief burial service will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, May 13th, at Mount Sinai Memorial Park. A celebration of life will be held on Monday, May 23rd, with details to follow. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the amazing efforts of the Baycrest Foundation at baycrestfoundation.org.
Memorial donations may be made to the Baycrest Foundation (416-785-2875).