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Governor John P. deJongh Jr. offered his condolences today to the family and friends of Robert L. Merwin, a major figure in St. Croix’s business and philanthropic communities and a respected civic leader in the Virgin Islands.
For more than five decades, Merwin was at the forefront of business and social life on his beloved St. Croix. He was involved with dozens of community organizations in addition to managing the family business that his grandfather founded in 1892.
“Mr. Merwin was someone completely consumed in advancing these islands, especially his beloved home of St. Croix. You could not have a conversation with him that did not include some forward movement on some action that would push St. Croix, help an organization and get you to finally accept his reasoning that more can be done,” deJongh said. He continued to give selflessly of his time and energy to serve his community as a member of the Coastal Zone Management Commission and through the St. Croix Chamber of Commerce, the Community Hospital Association and the Landmarks Society.
“I will miss his passion for the people of St. Croix, but more so, the optimism that he exhibited and his belief that if we work together we can make things better for all. He was one of our great business and civic leaders and a dear friend,” deJongh said. Merwin served his country in the United States Marine Corps, holding a rank of captain at the time of his retirement. His commitment to revitalizing the town of Frederiksted reflected his greater passion for improving the life of all Virgin Islanders and preserving the territory’s rich cultural history.
“Cecile and I wish the best to Robert Merwin’s loved ones, especially his children and grandchildren, at this difficult time for them,” deJongh said, adding, “I am hopeful that they will find comfort in knowing that he had an impact on the lives of so many, that he meant a lot to many and that he will forever be a part of our future.”