Close friends and family of the late Richard “Rich” Merino gathered downtown Hudson this morning at 9 a.m. to deem Park Lane “Merino Way” in honor of Rich’s significant contributions to the community. Rich was a lifelong resident of Hudson since 1921.
Mayor Basil opened the ceremony with the reading of the resolution which designated Merino Way as the honorary street name of Park Lane. Frank Youngwerth, host of Good Day Hudson, followed with warm memories and stories of Rich's time in Hudson. Rich's granddaughter Constance Wimer then spoke about her beloved grandfather who became her father, as he and his wife raised her from a tiny child of six weeks old. Friends and family then gathered to unveil the honorary sign in Rich's honor.
Rich was an outstanding athlete during his time at Hudson High School. A fellow teammate, the late NFL Hall of Famer Dante Lavelli, was quoted saying, “pound for pound, Rich Merino was the greatest athlete to come out of Hudson.” Rich led the basketball team to a county championship in 1938, was named Most Valuable Player of the football team in 1939, and was inducted into the Hudson High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012. After high school, Rich served in the United States Navy during World War II.
Merino’s Beer and Wine was established in 1946 by Rich and his father. Rich owned and managed the store until 2014.
After Rich’s passing on July 10, 2016 at the age of 95, City Council received a letter supported by more than 300 current and former Hudson residents requesting that Park Lane receive the honorary name “Merino Way” in Rich’s honor. Rich had a warm and friendly personality, making him a beloved and admired member of the Hudson community.