Born on December 6, 1924, he was the son of the late Lewis and Dorothy Merliss. On July 31, 1947, in Valhalla, N.Y., he married Elsa (Alyce) Bertok, who preceded him in death on January 10, 2006.
He was a graduate of Hamden High School in Hamden, Conn., and served as a pilot and flight instructor in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. He then attended Syracuse University in Syracuse, N.Y.. He was also an Eagle Scout. He was an entrepreneur his entire life, owning and operating Meriden Electronics Corp. which opened in 1960, and together with his son Rick, began Merl, Inc. in 1978. He was an integral asset to both businesses, actively participating in daily operations until the time of his passing.
Mark was actively involved with the Federal Aviation Administration, serving as an air frame and power plant mechanic, authorized inspector, designated mechanic examiner, designated authority representative and designated manufacturing inspection representative. In 2004, he was honored as a recipient of the Charles Taylor Award, which is bestowed upon only a select few across America for 50 years of service in aviation maintenance. He was also a lifelong member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.
Mark is survived by daughter, Wendy Merliss Leslie and husband Ed of Marshall, Mo., sons, Mark (Rick) Merliss and wife Mary Jo of Meriden, Conn., Robert Merliss and wife Gail of Meriden, Conn., David Merliss of Meriden and daughter Melissa Merliss and Joseph Avella of Berlin. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Julie Steffens of Blackburn, Mo., Joy Leslie of Concordia, Mo., Amanda Leslie of Marshall, Mo., Marisa Merliss of New York City, N.Y., Mark Joseph Merliss of Meriden, Conn., Erik Merliss of Meriden, Conn., Christine Merliss of Meriden, Conn., Melinda Merliss of Berlin, and Nicole Avella of Berlin. Mark's great-grandchildren are Megan, Kristin and Kylie Steffens, all of Blackburn, Mo. He is also survived by his sister, Janet Fierberg of Bloomfield, Conn., several nieces and nephews, beloved caregiver, Janet Kabai and dear friend, Thomas Ricci.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his son, Jonathan Craig Merliss.
Friends are invited to pay their respects on Friday, Feb. 17, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the John J. Ferry and Sons Funeral Home, 88 E. Main St., Meriden, Conn. The funeral will be held on Saturday, Feb. 18, at 10 a.m. at the John J. Ferry and Sons Funeral Home with burial following at Walnut Grove Cemetery, 817 Old Colony Road, Meriden, Conn.
Additional information provided per family recompense.