John Merrick Register

Published 11:29 am Tuesday, December 14, 2021

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John Merrick Register, age 91, died in his sleep at his home in Midlothian, Virginia on January 1, 2021 as a result of complications from a fall.

John was born on May 10, 1929 to Layton Bartol and Margaret Duval Register in Haverford, Pennsylvania. He spent his childhood in Haverford with his brother David and was a 1947 graduate of the Haverford School. John went on to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1951. During his summer vacations from college, John worked as a camp counselor at Camp Choconut in Friendsville, PA. It was there that he met his future wife Joanna G. Logan. They married in June 1951 shortly after John’s college graduation, and they moved to Bryn Mawr. Soon after, he began his 38-year career in banking, working part-time for the Girard Trust Company, and later the Girard Trust Corn Exchange Bank. In 1952, he and his wife moved from Bryn Mawr to Chestnut Hill. He retired from Mellon Bank in 1989 as a Senior Trust officer, and moved to Washington, NC.

John was a man who cultivated a large number of interests and pursued them passionately throughout his life. He never lost his love for Harvard University after graduation, and he would have celebrated his 70th reunion this year. He was an avid bird watcher, amateur astronomer, naturalist, photographer, and woodworker. He loved to share his interests with his children, who learned to make model ice boats from toothpicks, collect butterflies and moths, use a bow and arrow, identify birds, play dominoes and conduct epic battles knocking toy soldiers down with a ball bearing salvaged from a pin-ball machine—all before his children entered high school.

After retirement, John was baptized in the Episcopal Church.   He became a regular attendee at Zion Episcopal Church in Washington NC, where he volunteered as treasurer and served as a warden of the church. Reg, as he was known by old friends, and John to all others, was a gentle man who was friendly, intelligent, and enjoyed helping neighbors and friends.  In particular, he was a source of information on the flora and fauna encountered at the Goose Creek State Park on the Pamlico Sound in North Carolina, where he spent many happy hours in retirement.

John and his wife moved to Spring Arbor of Salisbury in Midlothian VA in April of 2017, when they were no longer able to live independently in North Carolina. Mr. Register is survived by his wife of sixty-nine years, Joanna; their son Christopher and daughter-in-law Katie of Farmville VA; their daughter Anne and son-in-law Tom Whitehair of Irvine CA, and one grandchild, Christian Whitehair of Newport Beach and his fiancee Kayla Lindsay-Smith. John was preceded in death by his parents, and his brother, David.

A memorial service will be held at Zion Episcopal Church in Washington, NC at 3:00 PM on Saturday, December 18, 2021. Interment will follow in the adjacent Zion Church cemetery.  For those wishing to honor John’s life, please consider directing a donation in his memory to Zion Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 1329, Washington, NC 27889, (252) 927-9466.

Joseph B. Paul, Jr. Washington Funeral & Cremation is honored to serve the Register family.