Wallace “Wally” Merritt | January 31, 1938 – February 25, 2024

Age 86 of Wyandotte.

Wally was born in 1938 in Wyandotte Michigan where he raised his family, owned a successful business and served his community.

Wally graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1956. He had several opportunities to play football at the college level. Instead, along with 15 other brave young men from the 56-graduating class, chose to join the United States Marine Corp. After basic training in San Diego CA, they shipped off to southeast Asia to serve and defend their county. The relationships with this group of men endured for 60 plus years. Wally was one of three surviving members. His affiliation with this group brought him much joy, happiness and comradeship for most of his life.

Upon discharge from the USMC, Wally attended Western Michigan University where he played four years of football for the Broncos, married his wife Janice and had his first and second child, Carole and Jeffrey Merritt.

After receiving a bachelor’s and master’s degree in business management, he moved back to Wyandotte to learn and eventually take over the family business; H.S. Merritt Insurance. He eventually merged the business with the Thomas Daly Insurance Agency, forming Daly – Merritt Insurance Agency. The infancy of the agency began in the 1920’s and still thrives today.

Wally immersed himself in his business and in serving the city of Wyandotte. He and Janice welcomed their third child Ann Marie. His many accomplishments included being one of the founding members of the Wyandotte Athletic Association, member/commissioner of the Wyandotte Recreation Commission, member of the Wyandotte Public School Scholarship Foundation and trustee of St. Vincent Pallotti Finance Committee. He was named man of the year with the Jaycees and was also a past president of the Rotary Club and a past president and member of the Wyandotte School Board. A passion of Wally’s was the Wyandotte Roosevelt Football program where he served as coach for several years and stayed involved until shortly before his death. Wally was a mentor to many young athletes and students. He and Janice served as sponsors of the World As A Community class (WAAC) at Roosevelt. Ironically, he was a member of the WAAC class in 1956.

Wally sold his interest in Daly – Merritt in the late 80’s. However, the insurance tradition in the Merritt family is carried on by his Granddaughter Alexandra (Ali), Vice President @ AMWINs Ins. Brokerage in Los Angeles, California. Ali is a fourth-generation insurance professional of which Wally is very proud.

Upon the sale of his agency, Wally started a fishing charter business in northern Michigan and Islamorada, Florida.  He was an avid sportsman. His passion was spending time outdoors w/his grandson’s Cameron (Carole & Dan), Jake (Mary Jo & Jeff) and Nicholas (Ann Marie). They took numerous trips to Canada and Alaska. He will forever be remembered at the Icy Bay Lodge in Icy Bay, Alaska where he became a fixture for many years.

Wally will be remembered by the Wyandotte community for his passion and efforts he dedicated himself to for the continued growth and wellbeing of the community. Most of all, he will be remembered for the love of his family and the Church where he served. He always took pride in the accomplishments of his children and his grandchildren. Wally is survived by the following: Carole Merritt Doherty (Dan), Jeff Merritt (Mary Jo), Cameron (Carole & Dan), Alexandra (Jeff & Mary Jo, spouse Lucas and daughter Fallyn King), Jacob (Jeff & Mary Jo, spouse Hannah Gerace and son expected, June of 2024), Nicholas Campisi (spouse Mileena and son Enzo).  Predeceased by Janice (spouse) and Ann Marie (daughter).


Memorial contributions are appreciated to Wyandotte Public School Scholarship Foundation, Wyandotte Board of Education, 639 Oak Street, C/O Rebecca Bearden, Wyandotte, MI  48192.


Thursday, February 29, 2024