School 08

Robina Merrill

August 28, 2020

Obituary

Please be Advised

***For the Safety of All during this time of Pandemic all CDC, City and State Guidelines are being followed. ***  Facemasks are required for entry and should be worn at all times.  Social Distancing policies of Maintaining a 6 foot separation, avoiding personal contact, and crowds limited to 25 persons at a time will be observed. Your understanding and cooperation is greatly appreciated.

Obituary

Robina Merrill, née Gill, was born on January 25, 1960, in Sialkot, Pakistan. She was the eldest daughter of the late Rafiq and Hamida Gill. She is the beloved wife of Paul G Merrill, the proud mother of Sabrina Merrill, the revered sister to Suleman Gill, Elvan Gill, and Shabina Gill. She was the cherished niece to Majid Gill, Shamim Khan, Hamid Gill, Javid Gill, and Shahida Yousuf. 


Ruby attended and thrived at Lucie Harrison Girls High School in Lahore, Pakistan. From there, she graduated with a Bachelor’s in Education from Government College for Women in Sialkot, Pakistan. She accomplished this in a time and place when it was not easy for a minority woman in Pakistan to achieve success. 


She didn’t stop there. After acquiring her degree in Education, Ruby set her sights on breaking glass ceilings and conquering the professional world. She started off as a teacher at Government Middle School (Mumtazabad Haji Pura, Sialkot) and within a few years had blazed a trail all the way to the top - becoming the Headmistress at (Mumtazabad Haji Pura, Sialkot).


Ruby was passionate about education, she believed that it was an integral part of any society. During her free time from school (of which there was very little) she would teach pro bono within the minority community of Pakistani Christians whose parents could not afford to send their children to school. However, it wasn’t just at her job or within her community that Ruby stressed the importance of education. As any of her siblings will attest, Ruby stressed the importance of education at home as well. As the oldest of 4 siblings, she sometimes played the role of Mom with gusto, which meant lots of lessons at home - regardless of whether her younger brothers or sister wanted them. The role of being everyone’s mom was one Ruby didn’t relinquish till her final days when her health would no longer allow her to do so. 


No one who knew her would doubt that she was everyone’s mom, but for her daughter, she was everything in the world. After getting married to her husband, Paul Merrill, the two of them had one adoring daughter, Sabrina Merrill, that Ruby and Paul doted on. Leaving behind her successful professional career and the land of her ancestors, Ruby moved to Philadelphia, PA, wanting to pursue the American Dream. She wanted to provide her daughter with every chance to succeed in the Land of Opportunity. She did that. Today Sabrina is a student of Temple University who is preparing to take her MCAT (Medical College Admission Test). In her own words, Sabrina describes her mother as her “inspiration, role model, best friend and the most perfect mom in the world.” The pride that Ruby took in her daughter’s accomplishments is immeasurable. For Ruby, despite all of her other achievements, her greatest legacy is the daughter she leaves behind. 


Ruby was energetic, social, loyal, fiercely protective of her family, determined, compassionate, and possessed tremendous willpower. Honestly, if we are listing positive traits about Ruby, this would become a lengthy dissertation. Perhaps, her most important quality was that she had the kind of charisma which left a lasting impression on anyone who had the fortune of meeting her. She just had that ability to connect with people. Ruby was one of those rare people who inspired everyone around her to do better. 


Her willpower and ability to inspire were on display in the biggest fight of her life. Around 2001, Ruby was diagnosed with breast cancer. For more than 20 years, she battled that disease. There were times when her Cancer would go into remission, allowing her to breathe a sigh of relief and look towards the future. But it was not to be; her cancer kept coming back. Ruby didn’t give up without a fight, though. She fought against this deadly disease for each additional day so she could be around her daughter and the rest of her family. 


During this life and death battle, Ruby never lost her grace or poise. Despite the ravages of chemotherapy, Ruby didn’t let that stop her from being who she always was. It didn’t matter that she was sick, she was always more concerned about her loved ones. It wasn’t uncommon for her to be making doctor’s appointments for her husband while waiting to receive chemotherapy. Ruby would insist that Sabrina wasn’t eating enough (Sabrina may contest this) even as chemotherapy wiped away Ruby’s own appetite. She would make sure all of her siblings were talking on one conference call, even if she didn’t have the stamina to talk for a long time. That’s just the type of person Ruby was and not even a deadly disease could change that.


For everyone around her, it was remarkable to watch this feat of endurance. How can someone complain or not do their best when this extraordinary woman was defying death at every turn? She was an inspiration, a tour de force personality, and the kind of person you rarely come across. 


Robina Merrill died on August 28, 2020, surrounded by her loving family at the age of 60. She is survived by her husband, daughter, and her three younger siblings. 


In her final days, Ruby was in a lot of pain and we understand that she is in a much better place now. Selfishly though, we can’t help but lament the loss of this incredible presence in our lives. With Ruby around, we always knew there was someone who cared about us, someone who worried about how we were doing, someone who would reach out to ask how our day went. We lost that and the world is a little darker because one of its brightest lights has been dimmed.


Written by Aizaz Gill 

 

***For the Safety of All during this time of Pandemic all CDC, City and State Guidelines are being followed. ***  Facemasks are required for entry and should be worn at all times.  Social Distancing policies of Maintaining a 6 foot separation, avoiding personal contact, and crowds limited to 25 persons at a time will be observed. Your understanding and cooperation is greatly appreciated.

Services

A viewing for Robina will take place at the Fletcher-Nasevich Funeral Home, 9529 Bustleton Avenue, Philadelphia, PA on Thursday evening from 6:00PM to 8:30PM. Her funeral service will take place 10:30AM Friday at Rhawnhurst Presbyterian Church 7701 Loretto Avenue, Philadelphia, PA with her viewing beginning 9:30AM. Interment will follow at Our Lady of Grace Cemetery, 1215 Super Highway in Langhorne. 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Robina Merrill, please visit our floral store.


Services

Viewing
Thursday
September 3, 2020

6:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Fletcher Nasevich Funeral Home
9529 Bustleton Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19115

Viewing
Friday
September 4, 2020

9:30 AM to 10:30 PM
Rhawnhurst Presbyterian Church
7701 Loretto Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19111

Funeral Service
Friday
September 4, 2020

10:30 AM
Rhawnhurst Presbyterian Church
7701 Loretto Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19111

Committal
Friday
September 4, 2020

12:15 PM
Our Lady of Grace R.C. Cemetery
1215 Super Highway
Langhorne, PA 19047

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