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Colonel  Russell Aaron Mericle, Jr.

Obituary for Colonel Russell Aaron Mericle, Jr.

August 31, 1934 - May 7, 2020
Garden Ridge, Texas | Age 85


Russell Aaron Mericle, Jr. was born and raised in Lima, Ohio by his parents, Russell (Sr) and Avis Mericle. He lived on South Jameson Avenue in a house built by his grandfather. Russell attended Central High School earning honors of Eagle Scout, National Honor Society and All-State Football Quarterback. A number of prominent Universities recruited Russell to play football, but he chose and was appointed to the US Military Academy at West Point where he lettered in Football playing for the Army Black Knights (beating Navy twice!). In his senior year, Russell was appointed the highest cadet rank, Cadet Captain. He graduated in 1956 and made many life-long friends.

Russell began his long, distinguished Army career being commissioned as a Second Lieutenant of Infantry. At Fort Benning, GA he began Officer's Basic Course followed by Airborne and Ranger training. His first troop assignment was Platoon Leader at Fort Campbell, KY with the 101st Airborne, then Battle Group Operations Officer and finally becoming the Aide-de-camp for Maj Gen Wm Westmoreland. Most importantly while there, Russell was introduced by his West Point classmate and then roommate, Norman Schwarzkopf (Stormin' Norman) to the Chief of Staff, Col Harry H Critz's daughter, Miss Terry Critz. A budding relationship started, but Russell received orders to the 3rd Armored Division in West Germany, while Terry went with her family to Paris, France as her father was assigned to SHAPE.

After several trips to visit each other, Russell and Terry were married in Paris in 1960 beginning a lifetime of love and affection. They enjoyed their time traveling through Europe. The Mericle family moved frequently over the next 25 years as they served in: Ft Benning GA, Ft Campbell KY, Air Force Academy CO, Ft Leavenworth KS, Ft Hood TX, the Pentagon DC, Carlisle Barracks PA, Camp Ederle Vicenza, Italy, and Ft Sam Houston TX. They had three beautiful daughters: Andrée, Elizabeth and Tara. Russell's additional education included graduation from the Army Command and General Staff College in 1970, an MBA from Tulane University of New Orleans in 1972, and The Army War College in 1978. Russell served a hardship tour in Korea, 1963-1964, stationed on the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone). And in combat for the country he loved in Vietnam, 1968-69, with the 101st Airborne Division. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, two Bronze Stars for Valor and five Air Medals. He was a Master Parachutist, a Ranger and was proudest of his Combat Infantryman's Badge. He was additionally awarded the Legion of Merit at his retirement.

Upon retirement in San Antonio, Col Mericle joined Alamo Savings Association (5 years) and then Broadway National Bank (10 years) where he served as Vice President of Facility Management. Russell loved giving back to the community and served with the Alamo Heights Rotary Club (30 years), as President of the West Point Society of South Texas, and as a longtime member of the Ft Sam Houston's Men's Golf Association and the Randolph AFB Men's Golf Association where he golfed with his buddies two to three times a week.

Russell was a die-hard Football fan. Being raised in Ohio where both parents, sister, nieces and nephews graduated from THE Ohio State University, Russell was a dedicated, lifelong Buckeye fan. It was a difficult day in the Mericle household if Army and Ohio State were playing at the same time! The Army/Navy football game was an annual holiday according to Russ. Russell was a WWII history buff (reminding us how close our country came to speaking German), loved reading books, telling jokes, golfing with friends and traveling with Terry.

Russell was a loving husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle and friend. He adored his wife, Terry, of 60 years and his three beautiful daughters: Andrée, Liz (Mark) and Tara (Sam). And was active in the lives of his eleven grandchildren who thought the world of their Papa: Morgan (Ashley), Cameron, John Mark, Stephen (Dana), Kimberly (Danni), Christopher, Austin, Daniel, Chloe, Natalie and Ashley.

Russell passed away as he planned – peacefully at home with his wife and daughters around him telling him how much he is loved and how they will miss him.

Services are on hold as the country awaits to be reopened.

Services Pending. Please check back for further information.

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San Antonio, TX 78232
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