On Friday (Feb. 16), country singer Eric Paslay took to Facebook to make an announcement that couldn’t have been easy. He revealed to his fans that his good friend, bus driver, and “personal bodyguard” had passed away this week.
“So sad to hear my friend Bill Merritt passed away this week. He safely drove me and the band to hundreds of shows over the years, walked through many a antique store with me and loved being my ‘personal body guard’ at shows,” he wrote accompanying a picture of him with Merritt. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. Hats off for ‘The Driver’ Bill Merritt! We will miss you buddy.”
So sad to hear my friend Bill Merritt passed away this week. He safely drove me and the band to hundreds of shows over…
Posted by Eric Paslay on Friday, February 16, 2018
According to his obituary on the Chancellor Funeral Home‘s website, Merritt passed away on February 8 at the age of 60 at his home in Gallatin, Tennessee.
Merritt was a beloved longtime employee of Robert Brothers Coach Company, who also expressed their condolences on Facebook.
Along with posting three photo of Merrit showing off his big smile, and standing next to his trusty bus, the company wrote, “With heavy hearts all of us at Roberts Brothers are completely shocked and saddened by the sudden and unfortunate loss of of another RBC family member, our friend and dedicated driver of 11 years Bill Merritt. Bill was very enthusiastic about his job, he loved driving and working in the entertainer coach industry and he was very proud of his country. Bill will truly be missed by all who knew and loved him.”
With heavy hearts all of us at Roberts Brothers are completely shocked and saddened by the sudden and unfortunate loss…
Posted by Roberts Brothers Coach Company on Friday, February 9, 2018
He is survived by his son Jason, daughter Erin, grandchildren Calob and Katelyn, his parents and his sister. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.
Watch Paslay perform “Amazing Grace” in the video below.