John J. Merriam Jr. of Falmouth, who was known as Jay, died Monday, December 20. He was 66.

He was the son of Edith J. Merriam and John J. Merriam. Formerly from Brighton, after graduating from high school there in 1973 he studied at Creative Music College in Mt. Tremper, New York.

Mr. Merriam later earned his trainer’s license for Thoroughbred horses and rode his sulky (a two-wheeled cart used in harness racing) at racetracks in Florida and New Hampshire.

When he developed kidney failure, he moved to Falmouth to be near his parents and to start renal dialysis. Mr. Merriam underwent a successful kidney transplant in 1992 at Massachusetts General Hospital; his mother was the donor.

He also worked for The Falmouth Enterprise in the mailroom for five years.

As a volunteer with People for Cats, Mr. Merriam helped to save the lives of many stray felines.

He was an avid fan of the New England Patriots, attending their summer practice games at Bryant College in Rhode Island and, later, at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough.

Mr. Merriam attended St. Patrick’s Church in Falmouth.

In addition to his mother, he leaves his uncles, aunts and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his father, who died in 2003.

Burial at Evergreen Cemetery in Brighton will be private.

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