Dorlon Jay "DJ" MerrittApril 25, 1925 ~ November 27, 2017 (age 92)
DORLON JAY MERRITT
April 25, 1925 – November 27, 2017
D. J. Merritt, 92, passed away November 27, 2017, in Spokane, WA at Hospice House South with his wife and daughter-in-law by his side.
D.J was born in Spokane to Keith & Beth Merritt on April 25, 1925. He was a graduate of Rogers High School. D. J. was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1944 and went through basic training in the infantry. When it was time to go to the South Pacific, he was transferred to the Army Air Force; his eyes weren’t good enough for hand-to-hand combat. In the Air Force, he went to aircraft & engine school at Keesler Field, MS, C-54 factory school in Santa Monica, CA, and was in the 54th Troop Carrier Squadron (C54’s) in Anchorage, AK from 1945-1946.
D.J. got out of the Air Force in Jan. 1947 & joined the Washington Air National Guard, 116th Fighter Squadron (Ace of Spades) at Felts Field in Feb. 1947 as Crew Chief on P-51s. The Guard was called up in the Vietnam era & D.J.’s crew, and their families, were sent to England where they served from 1950-1951. When he returned from England, he worked at Fairchild AFB on B-36’s, then at Geiger Field & Fairchild on KC135 tankers. He retired as Flight Line Supervisor in 1983. D.J. was a member of Nat’l Guard Booster club, VFW #1435, and a life member of Elks’ Lodge.
He was an avid hunter & fisherman and loved the outdoors. He loved kids & animals, and they him. If you were his friend, you were a friend for life. If you weren’t his friend, you never knew it. If you needed something, he’d get it for you. He knew how to have fun & enjoy life & could spend hours telling “old war stories”. He was a good neighbor, a good friend & someone “God” blessed us all with knowing & loving.
D.J. was preceded in death by his parents, Keith & Beth Merritt, his two brothers, Jack & Glade Merritt, sister, Betty Bell, his wife of 40+ years, Wilma Merritt (Roller) and his two sons, Dan (Kathy) Merritt and Bill Merritt. He is survived by his wife of 26 years Karen, daughter Pamela K Merritt, daughter-in-law Kathy Merritt, grandsons Tom (Christy) Merritt, Kyle (Julie) Merritt, Nathan Merritt, great-grandson Ellis Merritt, two granddaughters, Rebecca Thomas & family & Becky Hawkins & family of Boise, Id. D.J. is also survived by his sister-in-law Cheryl (Dave) Ries, and three step-sons, Darren Brotherton, Craig Brotherton & Rusty Brotherton.
The family would like to thank Dr. Behne, Hospitalist at Sacred Heart for his tender care and all of the people at Hospice House South who treated him with such care & love. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Hospice House South, 367 E. 7th Avenue, Spokane, WA 99202. D.J. will be buried at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery with full military honors, surrounded by family. A Celebration of Life will be held in the spring.