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Merle W. Burdett, Navy Veteran And Verona Fire Chief


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Merle W BurdettMerle W. Burdett of Verona passed away in Mountainside Hospital on July 23, 2013 after a brief illness. Born in Newark on November 15, 1921 he grew up in Bloomfield until moving to Verona in 1936. He graduated from Verona High School in 1940 after being a member of Verona High School’s first ever football team and lettering in football and basketball.

Young MerleHe entered the U.S. Navy in 1942 and went to flight training school at Colgate University before being stationed at Willow Run Army Air Station in Michigan. It was there that he met his future wife, Doris Holly. After serving in the Pacific aboard the U.S.S. Pine Island he returned home to Verona in February 1946.

He and Doris were married in Ypsilanti, Michigan on May 19, 1946. They were married over 55 years. She predeceased him in 2002. Merle was employed as an electrician at Champlain Company/Bobst Group from 1946 until he retired in 1986.

He is survived by his son Larry, his “adopted” son Jay and many nephews and nieces in Michigan.

Dad NavyMerle joined the Verona Fire Department in August 1948. He served as Engine Company 1 lieutenant and captain in the 1950s before being elected the Department assistant chief from 1957 to 1958. He was elected as chief for 1959 to 1960. Merle retired from regular membership and became a Life Member in 2007. He was a Life Member of the New Jersey State Firemens Association and New Jersey Exempt Firemens Association. Merle also was a member of the Verona Rescue Squad for 45 years.

He was an assistant scoutmaster of Troop 5 Verona, member of the Order of The Arrow, a Verona crossing guard and Little League coach.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, August 10, 2013 at The Church of The Holy Spirit on Gould Street, Verona NJ at 11:00 am.

In lieu of flowers please make all donations to The Church of The Holy Spirit.VFD Badge 85 Merle W. Burdett

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  1. Larry, I’m so sorry for your loss. know that my thoughts are with you during this difficult time.

  2. Great man…great man. dedicated to Verona and it’s community. We were lucky to have had him in this town.


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