ONEONTA — Beatrice “Bea” Gage Merzig, 97, mother of City Attorney David Merzig, who managed her husband’s Oneonta medical practice for 30 years, passed away on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, following a brief illness.
Born Feb. 3, 1922, she was the daughter of Scott and Florence Gage of Morris.
She attended Morris Central School and graduated with honors from Houghton Academy in 1940, and graduated from Wheaton College in 1944 with a degree in Christian education.
In 1945 she married John Edward Merzig of Ebenezer, Erie County, in St. Louis, where he was attending St. Louis University Medical School. She worked at Strong Memorial Hospital during John’s internship and the couple returned to Morris in 1948 to set up private medical practice.
They were active in the Morris Baptist Church.
Following the births of three sons, Edward, John and David, Dr. Merzig, Bea and family were posted by the U.S. Public Health Service to Fort Defiance, Ariz., to provide medical services on the Navaho Reservation and then to Bethesda Naval Hospital in Washington, DC.
Returning to Morris in 1954, Dr. John opted to specialize in anesthesia and took training at Albany Medical Center. Intent on establishing the anesthesia department at Fox Memorial Hospital, the family moved to Oneonta in 1957. Bea managed Dr. John’s medical office until his retirement in 1987.
Because of her lifelong devotion to Jesus Christ, Bea quickly took up duties as teacher and administrator at Main Street Baptist Church. She served in all children and adult education levels and briefly as Sunday school superintendent.
In 1966, she founded the Main Street Children’s Center.
She was active in Couple’s Club, served as a deaconess and on the Christian Education Committee. She contributed to missions work around the world. She served on the board of trustees of the Seminary of the East, Dresher, Pa.a. During the 1980s, she relocated briefly to Pennsylvania to assist the seminary staff in donor development.
She was predeceased by her parents; brother, Laurence; and husband, John.
She is survived by her sister, Barbara (Jack) Monson of Manlius; sons, Edward (Chris) of Albany, John (Roberta) of Telford, Pa., and David (Margery) of Oneonta. She leaves behind former daughter-in-law, Barbara Merzig; grandchildren, their spouses and great-grandchildren, Karenna and David Rowenhorst with Molly and Luke; Laura and David Fabryky with Miriam, Hannah and Adam; Matthew Merzig; Martha Merzig with Ruthie; Leslie and Andrew Deroo with Talia and Naima; John and Marianne Merzig with Ian and Morgan; and Sarah and Richard Fountain with Phoebe, Timothy and David. She will be greatly missed by these and by many nieces, nephews and friends.
The family will greet friends at an open house at Bea’s home from 1 to 3 p.m. Feb. 1.
Memorial donations in Bea’s honor may be sent to Main Street Baptist Church in Oneonta, msbchurch.org, or to Scripture Union, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, scriptureunion.org.
Interment in Hillington Cemetery in Morris will follow in the spring.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Johnson & Stanimer Funeral Home in Morris.