Cover photo for James Alexander Merlin Jr.'s Obituary
James Alexander Merlin Jr. Profile Photo

James Alexander Merlin Jr.

January 30, 1966 — September 1, 2023


James Alexander Merlin Jr.


Mr. James “Jim” Alexander Merlin Jr., 57, of Calhoun, died suddenly Friday, September 1, 2023, following a Cardiac Event.

Jim was born in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, on January 30, 1966, the son of the late James Alexander Merlin and Vesta Bobo Cook, and was the oldest of three. He graduated from Escambia High School in Pensacola, FL, in 1984 and was employed by Momentum Telecom Inc. as a computer analyst. He was a lifelong follower of God. He was a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He was honorably discharged from the Corps as a Corporal in 1988. During that time, he was deployed in the Pacific, spending three years in Okinawa, Japan.

First and foremost, Jim was a funny man. He took great delight in memorizing his favorite movies and speaking exclusively in TV & movie quotes, a hobby he started with his brother and continued with his children (favorites included The Simpsons, Life of Brian, Jaws, and Tropic Thunder). To the surprise of many who knew him, he was a very artistic person who enjoyed journaling, calligraphy, playing the guitar, and sketching. Of course, for those who did know him, he had a lifelong obsession with technology. As one of the first people to dive in the digital era, he collected hard drives, computers, laptops, cell phones, and anything with a cord to learn how things worked. His collection of keyboards boggles the mind. 

At his best, Jim brought brightness into his loved one’s lives. Favorite memories from his children include singing ABBA in the family Jeep along the Oregon coast, bicycling through Portland, attending daddy-daughter dances, making hilarious commentary while watching bad scary movies,  white water rafting, and going to the gun range. He raised his children to have a deep sense of loyalty and gratitude for all they have, fundamentals they aim to carry throughout their lives. 

One of his best qualities was his willingness to help people without question. Whenever any of his children’s friends needed a place to stay, he was always willing to offer a bed. His generosity greatly impacted several lives that continue to have a positive influence. Jim was happiest when he knew his actions had a purpose. 

While many things about Jim will be missed, it is his laugh that will be missed the most.

Survivors include three daughters, Bailey Merlin and her husband, Richardson Smith of Boston, MA, Jillian and Juliet Merlin, both of Canton, GA; two sons, Jacob Merlin of Buckhead, GA, Joshua Merlin, and his wife, Josefin of Hamburg, Germany; grandchildren, Noah and Isla Merlin; sister, Heather Merlin Thames of Niceville, FL; brother, Gregory Merlin of Pensacola, FL; and mothers of his children, Kimberly Merlin and Joanne Brown, along with other relatives.

The funeral service will be held Wednesday, September 6, 2023,at 2:00 PM from the chapel of Max Brannon & Sons Funeral Home. The family will receive friends at the funeral home between the hours of 12:00 PM until the funeral hour.  Burial will follow in Georgia National Cemetery in Canton, GA, on Friday, September 8, 2023, at 11:00 AM, with military honors accorded by the United States Marine Corps Honor Guard.

The family requests that flowers be omitted, and memorial contributions be made in his memory to “HERO Agriculture Inc.,” a nonprofit that benefits U.S. military veterans. 1392 Roland Hayes Parkway, Calhoun, Georgia 30701, or online at

The Brannon family and staff are honored to serve the family of James Alexander Merlin, Jr.

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