Henry Merritt Jr., 88

Foreman at Beth Steel

October 05, 2007

Henry Clay Merritt Jr., a retired Bethlehem Steel foreman and World War II veteran, died of congestive heart failure Tuesday at Good Samaritan Hospital. The Hamilton resident was 88.

Born in Baltimore and raised on Allendale Street, he was a 1937 graduate of Forest Park High School. As a young man, he was an enthusiastic roller-coaster rider at the old Gwynn Oak Park.

He met Hattie Mae Carter while both were working on a pneumatic tube system at the old Montgomery Ward catalog store on Washington Boulevard. They married in 1939.

Mr. Merritt joined the Navy during World War II and was a radar operator on the cruiser USS San Francisco in the Pacific. He was awarded five Bronze Stars.

After the war, he joined Bethlehem Steel Co. at Sparrows Point. Initially a crane operator, he was later a brick department foreman. He retired about 25 years ago.

In later life, Mr. Merritt learned to cook. He walked daily at Loch Raven Reservoir or Lake Montebello.

Mr. Merritt was an Orioles fan and rarely missed a game on radio or television.

No services were planned.

Survivors include a son, Kevin Dean Merritt, and a daughter, Janet Louise Kahoe, both of Baltimore; and two grandchildren. His wife died in 2000.

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