Cole Aleczander Grayson Merchant, 17, died tragically in a car crash on December 10, 2023. He was born February 16, 2006, in Ellsworth, the son of Dean and Holly (Kerns) Merchant of Sullivan.
Cole was an amazing human being, always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone who needed it. He was incredibly smart and would often research or practice something until he was satisfied, even teaching himself how to play drums at an early age. And always willing to help and teach others what he knew. He loved to work with his hands and build things, whether that was collecting random items around the house to make a push go-cart or building an engine on his bicycle in more recent years. He loved to cook and came up with some creative meals on his own and was always cooking meals for his Nanny (maternal Grandmother) when he was with her. He also loved to bake for her, the rest of the family and teachers and friends…often bringing cookies to school to share.
He loved playing and watching basketball, the Lakers being his favorite team, and collecting basketball cards. He could be found playing Xbox with friends or his brother in his free time, or playing virtual reality games like golf, fishing, or tennis. He also enjoyed learning how to play golf, especially with his best friend Evan. He had a great love of cars and enjoyed watching Drag Racing and Formula 1. In the last couple years, he had found a passion for fixing cars when he was accepted into the Automotive Technology program at HCTC in Ellsworth. He excelled in the program, winning an award and competing in SkillsUSA. He planned to pursue the field in college and open his own shop.
Cole may have seemed shy when you met him, but he had a big personality and loved to tell jokes, good sarcasm and making people laugh. He could often be found with a funny shirt or funny socks on. He battled severe Scoliosis in his early teens and was very happy to regain his life after a successful surgery when he was 16, with Dr. Bassett in Bangor. He often said his surgery was “EPIC”!
Cole attended school in Sullivan his whole life and would have graduated with honors from Sumner Memorial High School this Spring. He also was a member of Upward Bound at UMO where he made amazing friends, learned so many new things and had awesome adventures.
He is incredibly missed by his parents, brother Michael and sister Gabriella. He adored his family and would do anything for his brother and sister. He is also missed by the family dog, Zeus, who played ball with him every night before bed. He is also survived on his mother’s side by his grandmother, Joyce Kerns, aunt Heather Kerns, uncle Chris Kerns and wife Edie, cousins Emily and Christopher. Survived on his father’s side by his grandmother, Beverly Merchant and partner Chris Stanley, aunt Doreen Stanley and husband Steve, aunt Daisy Merchant, cousins Jordan, Laura, Brody, Jeremiah, Elijah and Hayley, many loving great aunts, uncles, and cousins. He is also survived by his best friend, Evan Beals, and close friend Ethan Coombs. He was predeceased by his Grandfather Tyrone Hudson, cousin Thomas Merchant, great grandparents Joyce Merchant and Wilda and Elliot Kerns.
A Celebration of Life in his honor will be held at Sumner High School in Sullivan on Sunday February 4th at 1pm. Gifts in Cole’s memory can be sent to the Cole Merchant Memorial Scholarship fund at Sumner, 2456 US-1 Sullivan ME 04664, to help other students going into a trade.
We hope you all live as Cole did…Laugh more, worry less and be EPIC!
Condolences may be expressed at www.acadiacremation.com