Copeland Funeral Service

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Lawrence Hugh Merck 1929-2020 Hilton Head Island, SC.

Lawrence Hugh Merck passed away August 14, 2020 in Hilton Head Island after a Great Life almost 91 years strong! He was a successful business man with a great career but that was not his best feature. Hugh loved people…and people loved Hugh. People wanted to be around Hugh as he would captivate them with his personality. He was a masterful story and joke teller. He would go through every painstaking detail to paint a picture with his words but the best part was that even though he had told that joke a thousand times, he still would laugh the hardest and the longest, like it was the first time. Hugh cared about people and their concerns. He could find a silver lining for anyone in need of support and encouragement. He took time with people to hear them and help them. He ministered in prisons, sang his favorite country songs and Hymns with his guitar and karaoke machine at Nursing Homes, and various other venues. He was always looking for an audience. Hugh could strike up a conversation with anybody; anywhere. Hugh loved people.

But all that is not his best feature. Hugh was an athlete. He was a football “Hall of Famer” from Liberty High School (SC), a 4 year Gamecock Letterman at the University of South Carolina, and drafted by the Washington Redskins. But for Hugh, football was just a means to an education he would not have had otherwise. It allowed him to get a college degree, have a career and provide well for his family. Hugh was always an athlete.

But that is still not his best feature. Hugh’s best feature by far is his love and devotion for his family and Jesus Christ. He loved his parents (Gene & Inez Merck) and honored them in their later years by caring for them. When his father passed away, Hugh built his mother a house right next door to his. He married his childhood sweetheart Doris Gaines of Liberty, SC. Doris knew of him when she was 5, decided she would marry him when she was 13, and then did marry him in 1952. Hugh and Doris have 3 girls: Gloria Le Sueur (Lohr), Cathy Tyson (Rick), and Cindi Merck (Paul) who together gave them 8 Grand Children, Erin, Amanda, Janna, Jeb, Kelley, Josh, Trey, and Bret and 13 Great Grand Children. He will be “Papa Hugh” forever. Hugh loved his family and loved his Savior.

We will miss Hugh greatly here on Earth but we know he is celebrating and reuniting with family and friends that went before him.

The family expresses their thanks to the staff at The Dogwood at Cypress Plantation for the love and care of our father and husband.

Interment is on Tuesday August 18, 2020 at Beaufort National Cemetery in Beaufort South Carolina. Due to the current pandemic immediate family only.

In lieu of flowers please make any donations to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes of South Carolina.

Online Condolences

  1. Sharon Furniss says:

    David & I are saddened to hear about Mr. Hugh. We remember him as always warm & welcoming and we enjoyed our brief visits with him. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

  2. Kelley Bonagura says:

    My poppa, one of my best friends. There are no words to describe how much I will miss you. You are a hero to me. I know you are In heaven with your new body, lacking nothing, and that causes me to rejoice! I will always hold you in my heart and remind my family of just how much you love them. Until we meet again ✨

  3. Marie Bolding-Tyre says:

    I am saddened to hear this but so grateful that it simply means, “until we meet again”! Hugh brightened a room and was the first to come to mind on the invitation list. My condolences to the family I didnt know him well but so impacted for knowing him.

  4. Becky Dodson says:

    So sorry to hear about the passing of Hugh. Larry and I have such fond memories of him and Doris from First Baptist Church, Columbia. Hugh had such an outgoing personality and was a loyal Gamecock! Love to Doris and the rest of the Merck family.

  5. Derrill & Dianna Bolding says:

    If I tried to say everything I desired about Hugh, you would grow weary of reading or listening. I will simply say he made such an impression on my life and I was proud to tell everyone he was my cousin. Heaven simply grew sweeter.

  6. Carl S Bagwell says:

    I only knew Mr Hugh Merck – Father[Gene Merck] for he and my uncle Jim Bagwell were on the police force in town of Liberty, SC with John Ross also. His dad was well respected and thought of in Liberty and Pickens County & later on was a sled agent out of Columbia, SC.

  7. cindi merck says:

    You know everything in my heart and I’m so grateful you were surrounded by family on your journey . I love you with all my heart. See you on the other side .


  8. Jerry Hamby says:

    I’m sorry to hear of Hugh’s passing. He was a nice person who I remember well. Our condolences, Doris. We pray for the comfortIng of your heart.
    Jerry Hamby

  9. Barbara Barthelman says:

    To the Mereck family,
    I met both Hugh and Doris while they were living in the Cypress. I met them through their daughter Cindy. Hugh was such a nice man and boy did he love to sing. I truly am honored to have known both he and Doris.

    To Cindy,
    Boy do I ever miss you and never forget the “the button lady”.

    Love, Barbara Barthelman

  10. Guerry Felder says:

    I was wondering how Hugh was doing and saw his obituary. I think a lot of him and he lived life to the fullest. I remember him so well and though I haven’t seen him in years, he will be missed.
    Doris and family prayers and joy as Hugh is up in heaven enjoying life with so many

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