Merle B. Smith, 85, passed away peacefully on Sept. 28, 2012, in Berlin Health and Rehabilitation Center, in the loving care of his daughter-in-law, Mary Smith. He was born in Plainfield on June 6, 1927, the son of Arthur Smith and Hazel Baker. After graduating from Spaulding High School and proceeding to the Coyne Electrical School in Chicago, Merle attended the Milwaukee School of Engineering. He then served in the U.S. Navy, and worked in Barre for the Rome News Company and Bryant & Dailey Co. He began his career in the residential building industry in 1955. As a master plumber and a master electrician, Merle designed and built many custom homes from the ground up, without hiring subcontractors or architects. Merle’s happiest times were working side by side with his son, Dana; the two built countless houses together after partnering up in 1990. In recent years, Merle was devoted to caring for his wife, Lois, spending time with his two cats, and picking wild blackberries. Prior to moving to Groton, Merle and Lois spent many years living in Plainfield. Among his survivors are a son, Dwaine Smith, and wife, Susan, of Shelburne. His family invites his friends to join them at a casual luncheon and celebration of Merle’s life, which will be held at the Steak House Restaurant, 1239 US Route 302, Berlin, on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012, at 2 pm. Honoring Merle’s preference, please do not send flowers. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Lung Association , 372 Hurricane Lane, Suite 101, Williston, VT 05495.