Merrill D. Aumick (aka Mike), 79, of Chemung, NY, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his loving family, on Monday, May 25, 2020. He was born June 30, 1940 to parents Merrill H. Aumick & Charlotte C. (Inscho) Aumick.
Mike is survived by his wife Susan Aumick; son Robert Aumick of Endicott & (Mary Myers) of Johnson City; step-son and daughter-in-law Charles (Brie) Bingham of Waverly; grandchildren Kadisha Blackstock of Burlington, NC, Taylor (Dalton) Spencer of Milan, PA, Alex Bingham of Waverly, NY, Mackenzie Bingham of Waverly, NY, Jordan Colon of Candor, NY, Jasmine Colon of Nichols, NY; great grandchildren Sophia, Delaney, Paisley, Ayden, & Lane; brothers-in-law David (Rhonda) Stranger of Anchorage, AK, James Stranger of Rochester, NY, Robert (Kathy) Stranger of Lowman, NY, and Barry Bradley of Gillette, PA; sister-in-law Donna Morgan of Rochester, NY; and so many wonderful cousins, nieces, nephews and friends who were very special to him.
Mike was predeceased by his parents; his step-mother Irma Aumick; his father-in-law & mothers-in-law Elmer (Phyllis & Violette) Stranger; step-daughter Christina Bingham and daughter-in-law Angela Bingham; sisters Margaret (Roy) Jones, Jean (Earl) VanBencoten, Donna (Doug) Carpenter, Patricia Bradley, Marie (Bob) Horton, and Kay (Bing) Staviski.
As a child, Mike had attended a few different grade schools. One of them was at Webb's Mills. By the age of 10, he had moved to Chemung and finished grade school there. Afterwards, he attended Waverly Middle School & High School and graduated from WHS in 1959.
During his life, Mike had many interests. Ever since he was a young boy, he loved to hunt, trap, & fish and did so, with many of his family members & friends. He had a love for the outdoors, wildlife and nature... & loved sharing his little piece of heaven, at home in Chemung, with everyone he knew. Especially at the pond. So many wonderful memories were made down there with his family & friends. His family pets & the wild birds and animals have always enjoyed his pond too.
Back in the day, Mike not only loved & owned domestic animals, he also used to raise chickens as well... and even raised mallard ducks a couple times. He also loved the little wild birds & even built a few large feeders for them. His feeders attracted many beautiful birds throughout the years, but as always, the bears, racoons & squirrels would empty them or destroy them. He used to take his binoculars & look around the property & into the woods to see how many of God's creatures he could spot, that visited his home on a regular basis and he & Susan were able to capture many wonderful photos & videos of them through the years.
On the other side of nature, Mike also enjoyed gardening, planting trees, flowers, shrubs & berry bushes, and then enjoyed the fruits of his labor. He would pick apples, pears, cherries, & berries and eat them as soon as they were ripe. He loved the tomatoes fresh from the garden and consumed many tomato & mayo sandwiches in his lifetime! Sometimes he would stand right there at the garden with a salt shaker and eat them fresh off the vine. Every spring Mike would head to Birney's or Bacorn's to buy plants for his garden...and he always planted enough to share the produce with others.
When Mike was growing up, as a young teen, he worked for Eli Bodine on Bodine's poultry farm... and as an older teen, he worked as a grave digger for local funeral homes in the area. All the graves he dug, were dug by hand. That kind of work makes for very strong arms & hands and back. Mike was a hard worker and also worked for some of the local farmers throughout Lowman & Chemung and even worked a few summers for Chemung Spring Water as well.
After high school, he worked for Ingersoll Rand & then later began working in the construction industry. Mike was a union member of the Wood Wire & Lathing Industry and a union carpenter with the Local Carpenter's Union out of Elmira, NY... and retired from there.
He was a true go-getter. He built his own house and even helped his friend Norm Fuller Sr. build his home too. Mike had his hands in numerous construction & remodeling jobs throughout the Twin Tiers area & beyond. Although he was a home-body and wasn't one who liked having to travel long distances away from home to work, he did a few times in the earlier years of his life, to provide for his family. Mike always had something to keep him busy and if he didn't, he always looked for something that would. Aside from work, Mike also had hobbies.
He loved making/building things out of wood and he loved collecting things. For most of his life, Mike was a 'picker'. He loved going to yard sales, flea markets, antique shops and museums. After retirement he & his wife Susan, operated a small shop of their own at the Chemung Flea Market in Lowman and Mike often said... "those were some of the best days of my life." He truly loved what he did & loved visiting with everyone who came through the flea market. Mike ALWAYS looked forward to Memorial Day weekend EVERY single year, because it was one of the biggest days of the year at the Athens Flea Market. Wild horses couldn't keep him away! Isn't it strange that he passed away on Memorial Day this year? Not really! In spite of his poor health, or even because of the COVID virus that has so many businesses closed, he was going to get to the flea market one way or another, even if he had to go to heaven to find one that was open! So that's where he went... and Jesus... and so many loved ones & friends that went to heaven before he did, were there to welcome him home. So, God Bless your sweet soul Mike and may you 'Pick in Peace!' We love & miss you with all our hearts and some day soon, we hope to see you at the flea market! Love, Your family & friends!
A private Celebration of Life will be held at the convenience of the family. Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of The Thomas Cremation and Funeral Service, 1297 Elmira St., Sayre, Pa. Those wishing to leave a sympathy message for Merrill's family may do so at thomascremationfuneralservice.com.
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