To: The Lew Mertz Family:
We, the Brothers of COUNTS - DELTA EPSILON DELTA, of Coral Gables High School, extend our sincere sympathies to you all. We knew Lew during and after he graduated Coral Gables High School. As a friend and Brother, Lew was an outstanding person of rare courage, integrity and honesty. His is a legacy of examples by which all who knew him benefited. He will be long remembered for his selflessness, honesty, integrity and good humor. A rare combination of gruff exterior and concealed humor and wit, were his "hall-marks" and gifts to our impoverished world. He stood tall among men, despite his injuries and suffering through the years. He never allowed a Brother to suffer if he could do anything about it; he always knew "right from wrong." In many ways and over many years, he promoted a long over-looked form of community service and neighbor-to-neighbor assistance. Hopefully, those of us who knew him will, in our own way, continue his good works and teach his methods to those who follow. We will miss you Lew, dearly. Your gravel voice and twinkling eyes were the magnets which bound us to you and made us listen eagerly to your wise counsel. Lew, you are no doubt nearby at God's right hand, doing as you always wanted; save a place for us nearby, as we have much to discuss and many topics to ponder over the coming millennium or so.....
God Bless and keep you always,
The Brothers of COUNTS - DELTA EPSILON DELTA
Police Leader Helped Schools
Lewis J. Mertz, a former chief of the Indian Creek Village Police Department and a former major with the Coral Gables Police Department, died Sunday. He was 67.
Mertz died at Baptist Hospital of an abdominal aneurysm, his son Lewis J, Mertz Jr. said.
He started is police career in Coral Gables in 1960, where he remained for the next 28 years. While there, he wrote a grant that helped establish a unit that eventually became Miami-Dade Schools police.
"He was very much interested in the youth of Coral Gables", recalled a longtime friend and colleague Rick Bannon. "He really thought out of the box in law enforcement".
Mertz was born in Turtle Creek, Penn. and moved to South Florida at age 8.
He graduated from Coral Gables High School and served in the Navy. He later attended the University of Miami, where he got a bachelor's degree in journalism while working for Coral Gables P.D.
In 1969, married June Williams, whom he met after responding to a car accident.
"My dad thought the victim was going to die and showed up at the hospital to get the death information." said Mertz Jr. "My mom was there because the victim was her sister".
Williams said it wasn't until they went to court for the accident that Mertz asked for her phone number.
The couple married in 1969 and had two sons, Lewis Jr. and Howard Mertz. The couple divorced in 1978.
According to Coral Gables Police Department Lewis was shot in the shoulder in the line of duty in 1963. The suspect was convicted for trying to kill Mertz.
In the late 1960's, Mertz was named the department's first public information officer.
After retiring from Coral Gables, Mertz became Indian Creek Village's Chief. In 1989 he became a major with the Key West Police Department.
Mertz Jr. said his father loved to read and write from his studies in journalism.
When he wasn't having lunch at Chuck Wagon's with the fellow retirees from Coral Gables, Mertz could be found working on a book that he wanted published posthumously.
"He was a very knowledgeable guy, but he was also very kind", his son said.
"every kid thinks their dad is the best, but everyone that call says, "If you're half as honest as your dad, you doing OK".
By Marla Herreara - artical in the paper