Family give ultimate tribute to comic book fan killed 'by an uppercut from Batman'

Stephen Merrill's family decided to pay tribute to his love of comic books

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The Independent US

A Florida man has been killed by an upper-cut from Batman - according to his obituary.

Stephen Merrill, 31, from Winter Haven in Florida, passed away suddenly on 12 February but his family wished to send him off in style and requested that the local newspaper print a very special obituary.

“He would have been honoured to have died by an uppercut from Batman,” his fiancée, Stephanie Vella, told ABC news.

Mr Merrill’s family were unsure of what the cause of death was.


The father-of-one was diagnosed with cancer in June 2013, but went into remission in December of that year before the cancer returned in October. He was recovering from a surgery over Thanksgiving when he died.

Left without an official cause of death, the family asked local newspaper The Legacy to make a special exception – to which they complied.

“It was worth it for the family. It was the only time the family was able to laugh in days,” said close friend Andrew Albreacht.

“We were all laughing, and it made the situation easier to deal with,” he told ABC news.


The obituary has now been put online, where many people who knew Mr Merrill have signed the guestbook. Some of the entries continue the final laugh had by the father, with one entry reading: “Always knew he would go too far one day. Rest well friend – Superman, Metropolis.”

The superhero theme even extended to his funeral. Mr Merrill had Captain America’s shield – made of flowers – and a quotation from The Avengers film printed on the programme.

It was what he would have wanted, his family explained.

They added that Mr Merrill, who worked at Legoland in Maryland, possessed many of the qualities of Captain America: he was considerate, helpful, and left an impression on many.