Roberta (Bobbie) Merrill, aged 81, died peacefully of complications from Alzheimer’s disease on Saturday, December 14 surrounded by her children. Born to Robert McCullough Hall and Margaret Hamor Poffenberger on December 16, 1937 and named after both parents, Bobbie was a life-long resident of Delaware. She grew up and lived for the majority of her adult life in Roselle, in the family home bought by her great-grandparents. She was baptized on March 20, 1938, at Calvary Episcopal Church, the home parish of her maternal grandparents. According to her mother as a young child Bobbie would grin, smile, and talk to everyone. She enjoyed sports and practiced pitching with her father. As a teenager and young adult Bobbie attended Westminster Presbyterian Church, where she sang in the girls’ choir and played basketball and softball. At Conrad High School she excelled in their business program and as a member of the pep squad dressed as the school mascot and sold concessions at events.
After graduating from Conrad High School, Bobbie worked as a secretary for Holloway Brothers, the DuPont Company and Oak Grove Junior High School, which later became part of the Red Clay Consolidated School District. In 1958 she met Willis (Bill) Guyer, a Delaware State Trooper at ballroom dancing lessons. They were married that same year at St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral in Wilmington and were happily together for almost 30 years. Bobbie and Bill loved camping, frequently visiting the Skyline Drive, Blue Ridge Mountains, Great Smoky Mountains, Cape Henlopen, and numerous other parks and historical sites with their two children, Peggy and Bill. They were active members of Saint Nicholas Episcopal Church, where Bobbie volunteered as a Sunday school teacher and as a member of the altar and flower guilds. She developed a love of gardening during these years that continued her entire life.
In 1989 Bobbie married William (Bill) Merrill at Saint Martha’s Episcopal Church in Bethany Beach, Delaware. Bobbie and Bill were able to enjoy almost 20 years together before his death in 2009. They loved spending time with their families and traveled extensively both in North America and overseas, visiting Wales, the UK, Maine, Florida, Bermuda and Scotland several times. They were active members of Saint Barnabas Episcopal Church, where she volunteered on the altar and flower guilds and participated in numerous parish events, including monthly women’s luncheons both with Saint Barnabas and clergy spouses in the Episcopal diocese. Bobbie loved spending time with her children and grandchildren during these years, hosting numerous family events at her home in Roselle, going on family trips, and attending the grandchildren’s sports, Scottish dance, Boy Scouts, skating shows, theater, and band concerts.
In addition to her parents, Bobbie was predeceased by her first husband Willis Guyer Jr., her second husband the Reverend William B. Merrill, and her younger brother, Stephen Hall. She is survived by her children Margaret Guyer Johns (David) of Milton, Delaware, and Willis Guyer III (Margie Rauterkus) of West Chester, PA; her grandchildren Matthew Johns (Carrie Bonnett), Michael Johns (Elena Nikitina), Daniel Joseph Johns, Audrey Guyer Rains (Jeshua Rains) and Joan Roberta Guyer; and her great-grandchildren, Nicholas, Margaret, and Daniel Johns. Roberta is also survived by her siblings Shirley Jarrell, Carol Sentman and Robert Hall, Jr.
A funeral service will be held at 11 am on Thursday, December 19th at Saint Barnabas Episcopal Church, Wilmington DE. Family and friends are invited to visitation from 10-11 am. Burial will be held on Friday, December 20th, at 2 pm, at Gracelawn Memorial Park, New Castle.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the memorial fund at Saint Barnabas Episcopal Church.