Half A Year

Today marks 6 months since my Dad’s passing in August. I didn’t write anything on 5 months because when I wrote the 4 months post it sent me into depression for the night.

My anxiety is at its worst thus far, and perhaps my depression is manifesting itself as anxiety. I probably cry much easier about this than before, well, that is I would if I didn’t avoid situations and thoughts that would cause tears like I do. However, I cry in my frequent nightmares/dreams about him being sick and I am obviously holding a lot of thoughts and feelings inside.

Thoughts of the last few weeks of his life still continue to replay in my mind and I still can’t believe this happened to me. I don’t think I will ever be able to fully comprehend it. Even if I’m staring reality straight in the face, and if I can accept it, I still can’t grasp its depth. I’ll never forget when it hit me in my history class last semester that God’s chosen always have to suffer. My Aunt Marcie said he was chosen, but I never put it all together. I may never understand why, but I do believe my Dad was chosen.

One of my Dad’s friends from work wrote this awesome poem in memory of him. I don’t think anyone could have portrayed a better description of his life at work than he did in these words below. Thank you, Matt, for this true glimpse into the life and heart of my Dad. It truly means so much to me to have this as another way of remembering him and reflecting on his life. The words are so powerfully written that when I read it, I feel as though he is still right here with us.


by Matt

Now here’s a man
With a motto of “Do It Right”
He’s got a project plan
That’s polished stainless steel bright

Mounted on steed, his faithful blue truck
Build me a billion dollar facility
With a budget of a buck
Now that’s ingenuity

Fearless in the face of our CVD foes
Tossed in the wilds of a PhD’s throes
Took a brave stand
Still standing, integrity at hand

Got to communicate the latest engineering news
To the Big Guy, Mike Matthews
Got to make sure we do this project right
Or the whole process will be a futile plight

I wish HazMatt would lighten my load
I’m tired of all this safety code
Can’t he see I’m busy planning this elevator?
And my next mustang endeavor?

Nothing wrong with a little fun, a beer and a smile
Why not stop by and stay awhile?
I love my family
It’s my priority

Did you ever notice something about Rick?
Did it slip past you?
No smoke, no mirrors, no trick
Something more serious and true

Some said he didn’t fit in the Brewer Science family
But I’d say their compass led them astray
He was all about personal freedom and creativity
Dr. B founded the company in this way

Did you see how he set up his life?
He could speak his mind, no matter the cost
Did you see how he lived his life?
With his personal integrity, never lost

In this day and age, that’s no easy trick
Unless, of course, you are a spiritual Maverick
So I do humbly pray
To walk with that part of him, every day

Rick Merenghi: Obituary

Wow!! … 7 people have googled my Dad in the past few days and clicked on my blog because it’s the first result and only one that is relevant. A few were looking for the obituary so I will post it here incase someone else stumbles upon it.

You are so loved and missed Dad.

Rick S. Merenghi, of St. James, MO, passed away Saturday, August 1, 2009, after a courageous two-year battle with cancer. He was 50 years old.

Rick was born in Maryville, MO to surviving proud parents Frank and Willa Merenghi. He attended Maryville High School, and during this time met his high school sweetheart and love of his life, Janice Wells. After graduation he earned certifications in electricity and electronics at the Maryville Vocational Technical Institute. He married Janice, in May 1981. They were blessed with a daughter, Mindy, 21 y/o, and a son, Steven, 17 y/o.

Rick and Janice settled in the Rolla/St. James area in 1985. He was the Director of Facilities Maintenance at Mercy Medical Group (now St. John’s Clinic) for ten years before joining Brewer Science, Inc. At the time of his death, Rick was the Plant Engineering Manager for Brewer Science, where he was highly esteemed and admired. He received an engineering excellence award and special public recognition from a St. Louis engineering firm for his outstanding work on and contributions to Brewer Science’s new facility.

Rick was a self made man. His career path took him from an appliance and TV service technician, to a carpenter on custom home construction and remodeling, to health care equipment and facility maintenance to engineering management in plant operations. In addition, he did general contracting on the side. He was an accomplished, meticulous craftsman. He constantly challenged himself to conquer new and different projects. Because of his brilliance, his construction and maintenance services were always in demand. He enjoyed woodworking and tinkering in his workshop. He built a beautiful home for his family in rural St. James. He and his wife enjoyed the simple pleasures of life and marriage. Classic car restoration has been a life long hobby for him. His trademark to the world was his brilliant wit and sense of humor. He was a dedicated father and husband and shared a heart-connection with both of his children.

Rick is survived by his wife Janice, and two children, Mindy and Steven, his parents, Frank and Willa Merenghi and his mother-in-law, Margaret Wells. Those who mourn him include his sisters, Marcie Giarrizzo, Francine Merenghi (and Jim Sowers), Marla Merenghi (and Al DelRosario), one brother, Vinnie Merenghi (and Ann Merenghi), and one brother-in-law John Wells (and Eve Wells). He also leaves behind his Aunt Mary Jane Merenghi and many nieces and nephews; Todd, Karen, Emily, & Grace Nelson, Joel Merenghi, Michael & Rachel Merenghi, Meredith & Ben Yonker, Darah McJimsey, Christy, Christian & Amelia Chesnut, Mitchell Nelsen, and Austin and Cameron Wells, and many wonderful friends who enriched his life.

A Celebration of Life will be held at Meramec Springs Park (Pavilion C) on Saturday, August 8, at 1 p.m. Friends and family are requested to bring their own lawn chair, and are encouraged to dress casually. In lieu of flowers, donations to a memorial fund for Rick’s children have been requested. Donations may be sent to Town & Country Bank of St. James, MO; pay to the order of Memorial Fund of Steven & Mindy Merenghi.