Veronica Maureen Matthews
Veronica Maureen Matthews, 76, of Westbrook passed away on Jan. 29 peacefully surrounded by her husband and three children, after persevering with strength and grace through several years of recurring complications with esophageal cancer and Parkinson’s.
Veronica was born on Feb. 12, 1943, in White Plains, New York, the daughter of Harold and Katherine (Belair) O’Connor. She began working as executive secretary to the presidents of General Foods (New York) and World Airways (California). Later, she owned and operated Plaza Furniture in National City and Lemon Grove, California, with her first husband Jack Matthews. Veronica bravely relocated her family to the Connecticut shoreline where she raised her children on her own, working at Amtrak for more than 25 years. During that time, she met and married Howard Merk of Milford, building a life together for more than 27 years and a business selling minerals and meteorites worldwide. Since her retirement from the railroad, they split their time between Westbrook and Tucson, Arizona. Over her lifetime Veronica visited all 50 of the United States.
Veronica is survived by her husband Howard; children and spouses John and Cindy (Tokyo, Japan), Katherine and Craig (Roxbury), and Mary and Vivian (Portland, Oregon); and grandchildren Nathan, Sam, Leah, Lauren, Lucas, Lio, and Grace. She is also survived by siblings (spouses) Patrick (Frieda), Jack (Clarice), Dolores, Helen, Ted, and Dennis.
A Mass of Christian burial will be held on Thursday, Feb. 6 at 10:00 a.m. in St. John Church, 161 Main St., Old Saybrook. Burial will follow at Cypress Cemetery on Saybrook Point, Old Saybrook. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Middlesex Health.