Merritt E. Derr, 87, of Whitehall, and formerly of Gilbertsville and Barto, died April 1, 2007 at Lehigh Valley Hospital, Salisbury Township. He was the husband of Frances A. (Kulp) Derr. They were married 63 years last June.
Born in Emmaus, he was a son of the late Edwin and Carrie (Gerhard) Derr. He was a graduate of East Greenville High School. He was the chief electrician and then a staff project engineer for the former Pillsbury Co, East Greenville for 21 years, retiring in 1980.
He enlisted as a private in the US Army Air Corps in 1942, and retired as a Lt. Col. of the Air Force in 1971. He piloted B-24 heavy bombers over Germany during WWII. He served as a Communications Officer during the Korean War, and served as Deputy Commander of the Reserve Assistance Program to the Civil Air Patrol for the State of Pennsylvania.
He was a member of New Goshenhoppen United Church of Christ, and a life member of the American Legion, Post #184, Palm, serving as the Post Commander in 1947 and was a past Post Service Officer, and the 9th District Deputy Commander from 1949-1952. He was a member of the Air Force Assn., serving as the Pennsylvania Secretary for 4 years, and various offices within the Lehigh Valley Chapter, #274. He was a life member of the Reserve Officers Assn, and a past president of the Lehigh Valley Chapter. He belonged to the 40 et 8 for many years. He belonged to the Boy Scouts of America for 21years, earning his Eagle Scout with Silver Palm in 1939, and was the Neighborhood Commissioner in 1966. He was a member of the Civil Air Patrol from 1978-1998. He was the PA Wing Inspector, Commander Group 1100, Reading, where he was an Instructor in Aerospace Education, and was a member of the Retired Officer’s Assn.
SURVIVING: Wife; daughter: Sandra, wife of Stanley Perambo, of Barto; 3 grandsons: Jose Gonzalez, Jeffrey Perambo, and Daniel Perambo, and a great-granddaughter, Lauren Gonzalez. He was pre-deceased by a sister, Vivian Leister.
SERVICES: Sat. 11 AM at the Falk Funeral Homes & Crematory, Pennsburg. Call 10-11. Interment to follow at New Goshenhoppen Cemetery, East Greenville.
CONTRIBUTIONS: 2nd Air Division Memorial Library, c/o the funeral home.