Paul Joseph "Joe" Merriman passed suddenly of a heart attack on November 4, 2020 in New Bern, NC, his beloved community in retirement of more than 15 years. A voracious reader, lifelong learner and community supporter, he never met a stranger. He loved nature, sunsets by the water, a good game of pool and glass of pinot noir. He led a full and family-centered life, hosting/attending events and celebrations large and small, while also cultivating many close and sustained friendships that lasted his lifetime. He was born on April 29, 1948 in Syracuse, NY to parents Paul Francis and Mary Ellen Merriman (Aungier) and grew up in The Valley attending Our Lady of Lourdes Parish. A graduate of Christian Brothers Academy (66') he attended SUNY Morrisville as a Regents Scholar. Paul spent his professional career in the insurance industry, first at General Accident where he met his wife of 49 years Cheryl, and then for 35 years at Nationwide Insurance. He helped open new field offices and led several different business units through his career, earning both his CAM and CPCU designations, the highest achievements in that industry. His career brought he and his family to many different cities including Memphis, TN, Gainesville, FL, Raleigh, NC, San Juan, PR and Columbus, OH. Paul is survived by his wife Cheryl (Nelson) of New Bern, NC, daughter Sara of Philadelphia, PA, son Chris (Jacqueline) of Raleigh, NC, brother James (Beth) of Seattle, WA, sister Julie Young (Tracy) of Charlotte, NC, brother-in-law James Capo of NY, NY, grandchildren Evan, Ava, Wesley and Spencer, as well as aunts, nieces, nephews and cousins. Calling hours will be Wednesday, November 11th from 4 to 6pm at Ryan Funeral Home, 44 E. Main Street, Marcellus, NY. Please know that masks are required, social distancing and occupancy limits will be observed. A private Funeral Mass and burial will both be in Otisco, NY. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the New Bern Historical Society, 511 Broad Street, New Bern, NC 28560.