ROBERT J. MERDELL (“Cotton Top”)
Mr. Merdell passed away peacefully on May 9th at his home at the Meadow Glenn Assisted Living facility in Leesburg, Virginia, following a brief illness. He was born on July 19, 1934 at Walter Reed Hospital to Hazel and Melvin E. Merdell. He had two Brothers, Melvin and William (both deceased) and a sister, Madeline. He was married to Elsie E. Merdell (deceased) whom he called the love of his life. After retirement, he especially enjoyed traveling adventures in his RV with his friends Vie (deceased), Joyce (deceased) and Winnie Minson.
Cotton Top was a fervent patriot who loved “the good old USA.” He served proudly in both the Air Force and the Army, where he earned his GED. Following discharge, Cotton Top pursued his education, earning a draftsman’s degree from Columbia Tech with Valedictorian honors. He earned his Associate Degree in Construction from Northern Virginia Community College. Cotton Top worked as a nuclear power inspector for Bechtel Cooperation and retired in 1999 as a field engineer for Fairfax County. He was a member of the Optimist Club where he enjoyed his year of service as local club president.
Cotton Top was extremely proud to receive his “chip” for ten years of continuous sobriety from the Falls Church, Virginia Unity Club last year. He had a great love of life and radiated positive energy that inspired many. He always had a smile to share right until his journey here on earth was over. He is survived by his step-daughter, Patricia A. Solvas, of Tucson, Arizona, who was with him until the end; and his guardian-angel friends Dave Miller, Vera Golenzer, Ian Newport, Donna and Joe Cook, care-manager Dana Greenfield and Bill Koerner; Unity Club members and the staff at Meadow Glen who, like so many others, came to love him.
A memorial gathering in Mr. Merdell’s honor will be held starting at 6pm on Wednesday, May 24, at Maggiano’s Little Italy, Tyson’s Galleria, 2001 International Drive in McLean, Virginia. In lieu of flowers please honor Cotton Top by donating to a charity of your choice.