Robert John Merlo, DVM, was born November 7, 1941 and died August 14, 2015.
“Dr. Bob,” son of Esther & John Merlo, was San Mateo High School’s senior class president and distinguished himself as a fiercely competitive football and track athlete. Aka “Big Horse,” he set the SMHS Bearcat shot-put record in 1960 finishing second in the state of California. In 1962 he set the College of San Mateo record which stood for over 40 years. He was an inspiring volunteer coach in Illinois and Wyoming.
He received his bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University, his masters in microbiology & his doctor of veterinary medicine from the University of Missouri, Columbia. He cared for family and large farm animals, comforted their owners and adopted countless abandoned/disabled pets in his homes in Oregon, California, Illinois and Wyoming before assisting his daughter Dr. Rebecca Black establish her veterinary practice in Murrieta, Calif.
His athletic, academic, professional and civic achievements paled in comparison to the ferocity of his charismatic warmth and compassion. He was uniquely inclusive, making close friends as easily as breathing.
He is dearly loved by the family he leaves behind: sisters Judy Grosey and Tina Brenner; sons Scott, Bert and Michael; daughter Becky Black, and grandchildren James, Reilly, Charlie, Liam, Kaylee, Brooklyn and Addalyn.