CORINTH – Merton M. Pierce, 60, died unexpectedly Feb. 18, 2010, at his home, just the way he would have wanted, in his chair after a day in the woods. He was born June 21, 1949, in Fallon, Nev., the son of Merle Abbott and Verna (McLaughlin) Pierce. Merton was a witty, wise and much loved fixture in West Corinth, whose presence will be greatly missed by family and friends. He will be fondly remembered for his “poetic” sense of humor and his Fourth of July gatherings, which grew from a small family get-together to an event enjoyed by people from far and wide. He graduated from East Corinth Academy in 1967, where he ran cross-country and played basketball, and may or may not have set the record for the most shots taken in a game. Soon afterward he entered the Air National Guard. He attended the University of Maine at Presque Isle for two years. Merton worked for the Carpenters Union Local 1996 for many years, until his retirement in 2008. Merton had deep attachment to his land and pond in Corinth. He spent countless hours building, improving and maintaining every foot of his property. Not to say that he did not enjoy relaxation and the company of “Herbie” in equal measure. Merton, thank you for sharing the pond, your garden produce and your unique personality, and for providing us with a place and time to gather to reunite with friends, family and the past, to catch up on the present and contemplate the future. Thanks for the tradition. We’ll all do our best to remember “The Fourth is The Fourth is The Fourth!” He is survived by a daughter, Tonia Clark and husband, Nate and their children, Hazel and Josie, all of Dresden; a son, Harry Pierce and fiancee, Stacy Valeriani, of Waterville; a brother, Butch Pierce and wife, Kathy, of Kenduskeag; sisters, Lois Girvan and husband, Bill, of Florida, Marion Lugdon and husband, Ed, of Cross Lake, Marylyn Ford of California and Merlene Roundy and husband, Peter, of Washington; his aunt, Larraine McLaughlin; many nieces, nephews and cousins. Merton was predeceased by the mother of his children, Linda Barschdorf; and brothers, Fred and Carl. Friends may call 6-8 p.m. Sunday at Thompson Funeral Home, 17 Hudson Road, Corinth, where services will be held 11 a.m. Monday, Feb. 22. Those who wish may gather with the family at Mert’s Pond after the service for a time of refreshment and fellowship. Please visit www.ThompsonFuneralHomes.org.