A personal message from Able Flight
founder Charles Stites:
Steve Merritt's aviation career was built upon service. He was happiest when using an airplane to improve the lives of others, and so it should come as no surprise to anyone that knew him, that Steve was the first person I called the the day that the idea of creating Able Flight came to me.
And the fact that he agreed to become Able Flight's first board member and its volunteer treasurer before I had even fully explained the important responsibilities he would undertake, that didn't surprise me.
Before Able Flight, Steve and I had worked on several aviation projects, but they were small when compared to what we would create together in Able Flight. For the past 11 years, he served as a true partner in building this organization; one in which he rightfully took great pride.
It was an unusual week when we didn't talk or email at least 2-3 times, and with his constant optimism and enthusiasm, he was the perfect sounding board for ideas both good and bad. His advice was more valuable than anyone else could know.
And what makes his service to Able Flight even more impressive, is that he did this while holding a full-time job as an airport manager, while being a very active flight instructor, and while serving as president of another nonprofit-Bahamas Habitat, and helping found yet another. And, he was a proud father, loving husband, and a friend to an amazing number of people throughout the country.
Often when someone dies, those they leave behind tend to lionize them or exaggerate their accomplishments and virtues. With Steve, the challenge is to hold back and not say as much as you could. He led a full and exemplary life of service, and is greatly missed.