Daniel Paul MerrittDecember 27, 1944 ~ January 3, 2018 (age 73)
Fire Chief (ret) Daniel Paul Merritt, 73, passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, January 3, 2018, surrounded by his loving family. Born in Springfield to the late Elmer Merritt and Genevieve (Malinski) (Merritt) Boroweic, he graduated from Minnechaug Regional High School’s first Freshmen class in 1962. His family’s first college graduate, he earned degrees from Springfield Technical Community College and State University of New York Saratoga Springs in Fire Science and Fire Administration. A proud veteran, he enlisted in the Navy as a Corpsman from 1963 - 1968, serving at Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego and later with a Marine Force Reconnaissance unit based out of Camp Lejeune, NC. During his tour in Laos and Cambodia during the Vietnam War, he earned the nickname “Doc” from his friends and colleagues. After returning home, Daniel aided in creating the IAFF Wilbraham Firefighters Local 1847 as one of the original nine 1969 Charter members. He rose through the ranks of the Wilbraham Fire Department, earning his EMT-Ambulance in 1974, and finishing a 33 year career by serving as Fire Chief from 1991 to 1997. At the pinnacle of his career, his many achievements included bringing the ambulance service back to the Wilbraham Fire Dept., paving the way for its current Paramedic level service. After retirement, he continued to use his vast safety and medical knowledge working for ATC Environmental and WAS Brothers Construction as an OSHA instructor. Daniel is survived by his devoted wife, Marianne C. (Irla) (Miller) Merritt, and his beloved sons: LtCol David A. Merritt, USMC and his wife Stefanie of Beaufort, SC and Mr. Nathan A. Merritt and his wife Kimberly of Medford, MA.
Visitation will be held on Friday, January 12 from 2:00 – 4:00 pm and 6:30 - 8:30 pm at Wilbraham Funeral Home, 2551 Boston Rd., Wilbraham. Funeral will be Saturday, January 13 at 9:30 am from Wilbraham Funeral Home to a Mass at 11:00 am at St. Cecilia Church. Burial will be private and at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Wilbraham Fire Dept. Ambulance Gift Fund, 2770 Boston Rd., Wilbraham, MA 01095.