MERRITT, THOMAS WALTER Died July 12, 2020 after living with pancreatic cancer for more than 3 years. He demonstrated ownership, acceptance, and thoughtful consideration in helping those who love him understand his disease and its repercussions, and maintained his sense of humor throughout. A lifelong Unitarian, Tom's moral compass was the Golden Rule, a central teaching of the world's religions. He strove to live a life of integrity, service, and joy, and considered himself among the most fortunate men on the planet. Born and raised in Plainfield, NJ, his parents ensured he was surrounded by love, was well educated, understood his family roots, and used his wings to fly independently in adulthood. He and his wife instilled the same in their children. Tom earned a BA from Carleton College in 1966 where he met his future life mate, Sharon. He attended Navy Officer Candidate School immediately after graduation, and the two married upon his commissioning. He was proud of his duty aboard the USS James K. Polk, a nuclear missile submarine. After earning his MBA in 1975 during his 1st post-military job, at a NJ bank, Tom joined the International Division of The Upjohn Company (Kalamazoo, MI) in 1976, which included postings in Madrid, Spain and Seoul, Korea. In retirement, Tom and Sharon relocated to Minnesota, immersed themselves in multiple volunteer activities, and continued to pursue their wonder and curiosity about the world through travel. Predeceased by parents Robert and Nancy (McLellan) Merritt and brother-in-law William Land, he is survived by his wife, Sharon, daughters Kari (Andrew) Leon and Ann Merritt, grandchildren Samuel and Claudia Leon, sister Jane Land, brothers-in-law John (Barbara) Tornes and Lan (Laurel) Tornes plus numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews. Memorial services will be held via livestream on August 9, 2020 at 2:00 pm CST; visit www.unityunitarian.org for the link. In lieu of flowers, donations to a charitable organization of one's choosing are encouraged. Make the world a better place, and carpe omnia.