They gave their lives upholding our tradition of Honor, Duty, Fidelity.
Badge: # 2393
Cause: Ped/MV Accident
Site: NJ Turnpike MP # 13.2 SB Woolwick Twp. Gloucester Co.
Stationed: Troop "D" Moorestown
Service Time: 2 years 9 months
Resided: Audubon, Camden Co.
Robert Merenda was born in Sea Side Park, New Jersey on September 8, 1938 and he resided in Audobon, New Jersey. He was a graduate of West Catholic High School where he was chosen All-Catholic League halfback in 1960. He then attended college at Villanova where he was a star football player in both the Liberty Bowl and Sun Bowl. Prior to joining the New Jersey State Police, he played professional football with the Philadelphia Bulldogs, Newark Bears and also briefly with the Denver Broncos.
Trooper Merenda enlisted with the New Jersey State Police on February 7, 1969 as a member of the 77th State Police Class and was stationed in Troop "A" Hammonton. He was later transferred to Red Lion, Woodstown and Moorestown stations. His service with the Division was characterized by loyalty, fearless performance of duty and faithful and energetic devotion to the principles of the New Jersey State Police.
Trooper Merenda died as a result of injuries received while in the line of duty.
At 1:35 a.m. on November 29, 1971, Trooper Merenda was on patrol on the New Jersey Turnpike. He pulled-over a speeding motorist at milepost 13.2 south in Woolwich Township. Gloucester County. As he was walking along the side of the road from his car, he was struck by the right front fender of a passing 1964 Buick.
He was taken to Underwood Hospital in Woodbury where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Trooper Merenda served 2 years and 9 months with the New Jersey State Police.
Trooper Merenda was survived by his wife, a 2 year-old son and a 10 month-old son. He was 32 years old.