FULTON — Merritt James Sisk, 85, of Fulton passed away June 3, 2013, at Parkway Regional Hospital in Fulton.
He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Roselea Olive Sisk; two sons and a daughter, John Sisk of Benton, Randy Sisk of Prescott, Ariz., and Donna Robinson of Vacaville, Calif. He is also survived by three granddaughters, Leslie Puccio of Paducah, Angela Jones of Portland, Ore., and Destiny Marshner of Paducah. His parents were Barber Sisk, principal and math teacher, and Ruth (Ingliss) Sisk, a professional mother and grandmother. Merritt was born in Dawson Springs, KY May 7, 1928.
He had five siblings who were Carolyn, Myrtle, Dortha, Ray, and Charles, all having grown up in Kentucky, and all having spent most of their adult lives in Kentucky. Merritt was in the United States Army for four years, served in Italy and worked at Travis Air Force Base in California upon discharge. For 33 years he worked for the Bell Telephone system in its many forms, beginning this long career in Fairfield, Calif., and soon thereafter in Vacaville, Calif., where he lived for many years before taking a transfer with Bell South to Paducah and ultimately Fulton where he spent the remaining twenty years of his career with the phone company, and the remaining fifty years of his life. After an early retirement at age 55, he worked a short time for a local cable company before he began working with Jerry Murray, a former home builder in the area.
A born mechanic as well, and a self-styled musician, Merritt helped build and race cars, specifically drag racing in California, stock car racing locally in Western Ky. and has the trophies to prove it. Subsequently, he always had one of the prettiest, and fastest trucks or cars around town, and a passion for keeping them in the best of shape. Teaching himself to play the accordion and the piano, he appeared on stage a few times in spite of his shyness and played with the best of them here in Fulton. He was also a bowler at Jet Lanes in the 1960s and 1970s and has trophies from that sport as well.
He was a motorcyclist for many years until a wreck ended that adventure, and he loved the outdoors. MJ water skied for decades and taught every child and grandchild he had to do the same. As he grew older, and wiser risk taking slowed, but up until just a few years ago he rarely said no to an invitation of camping and four wheeling with his buddies. A man who never met a stranger, and one that would do anything for anyone that needed anything, Merritt was widely known, sincerely liked, and deeply loved by everyone he knew and everyone that knew him. He will be profoundly missed by his friends and family.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 9, 2013, at Hornbeak Funeral Chapel in Fulton. Burial will follow in Oak Grove Cemetery near Dukedom, Tenn. Friends may call at the funeral home from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, June 8, 2013.
Online tributes may be left at www.hornbeakfuneralchapel.com.