Bentley Atwood Howe Merrick, DMD Obituary
Bentley Atwood Howe Merrick (Ben), beloved father, husband, son, brother, friend and dentist, died July 2 in Burlington, VT after suffering a sudden cardiac event. He was 61 years old. Ben was born in Morristown, New Jersey and raised in Chatham, the eldest of Betty and Ben Merrick’s three children. His childhood was filled with family time where he grew to love swimming and tennis. Through the Boy Scouts, he developed a passion for camping. Additionally, he spent time in his father’s home office dental office, where his love for dentistry began. Ben attended Middlebury College where he met the love of his life, Susie, in 1979 when they were both freshmen. They married in 1984. Ben graduated from Middlebury in 1983 and continued his studies at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dentistry, following in his father’s footsteps. After graduating top of his class from Penn in 1988, he worked in his father’s dental practice in Chatham, NJ, for four years, an experience they both cherished and which allowed Ben to recognize his love of prosthetic dentistry. He continued his training in this specialty at the New York University College of Dentistry Advanced Education Program in Prosthodontics, graduating in 1993. Ben and Susie moved to Vermont after graduation, where Ben opened his own prosthodontic practice and was warmly welcomed into the Vermont dental community. Ben’s skills as a prosthodontist and his genuine care for patients quickly became known, and his practice in South Burlington – Vermont Prosthodontics – has grown over the years to help many people. Always very humble, Ben valued his patients, his staff and his Vermont dental community. His love of practicing dentistry led him to become a clinical instructor at the General Dental Practice Residency at the University of Vermont Medical Center in 1997. He has found tremendous meaning in working with the next generation of dentists, including his daughter Katie, who was part of the 2021-2022 dental residency program. Ben was a lifelong learner and proud member of many professional dental organizations. Without a doubt, Ben was a family man and his greatest joy in life was being the father of his daughters Katie and Janie. He was a truly wonderful dad. He introduced his daughters at a young age to camping, hiking, kayaking, biking and skiing and established a tradition of taking each of them on an annual father-daughter camping trip in his Adirondacks. loved ones, often with another friend and their father. Ben took great pleasure in the interests of his daughters and became the main supporter of their activities. He was a father who recognized all he had to learn from his daughters. As Janie and Katie grew up, it was not uncommon to find them conversing with their father on topics ranging from dentistry and civil rights to camping recipes, feminism and cats. Ben cared deeply about these opportunities to spend time with his family, especially Papa Frank’s takeout. Ben is survived by his wife Susie of 38 years; his children Katie and Janie; his parents Betty and Ben Merrick of Essex Junction; his siblings Jenny Vecchio (Gerard) of Tolland, CT, and Charles Merrick (Kathleen) of Essex Junction; his in-laws Bud and Judy Rose of Red Bank, NJ; his nieces Sabine Vecchio Baldwin (Andy) and Lexy Vecchio; many beloved sisters and brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins; as well as her beloved kitty Pepper. The family hopes to invite family and friends to come together as a community in the fall, Ben’s favorite season, to share stories and memories. More information will follow. If you are interested in honoring Ben’s memory, our family invites you to consider becoming an organ donor; donate to the Adirondack Land Trust (www.adirondacklandtrust.org); or take a walk in the woods, if you can, and remember Ben.
Posted on July 09, 2022
Posted in Burlington Free Press