On March 18, Daniel Earl Merchant II, age 61, passed away unexpectedly doing what he loved most, swimming in the outdoor community pool on a sunny day in Port Aransas, TX.
Born in 1960 to Lucille (Anctil) & Daniel (Earl) Merchant I, Daniel was known and loved in his hometown Rouses Point, NY for his piercing blue eyes and curiosity for life. He was a 1978 graduate and Salutatorian of Northeastern Clinton Central (NCCS) High School, a 1982 graduate of Clarkson University where he received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, including a semester abroad at City, University of London in 1981. Throughout his professional life, Daniel’s true gift was working with people and helping others. In the beginning of his career he worked at IBM in Burlington, VT, where he combined his engineering background and talents in sales & marketing. This was the intersection where he excelled and trailblazed his career thereafter in the energy industry. Daniel built his professional network (or “work family”) by coaching, connecting, and lifting others as he ascended the career ladder. He will forever be known as a mentor and catalyst to so many people’s careers in the industry. The final milestone and pinnacle of his career was starting his own company, Merchant Client Solutions (MCS) as President/CEO. At MCS, he accomplished his dream of working for himself and providing his trademark customer service to his network around the world.
Daniel lived near water his entire life. Vermont was an important place in his life because that is where he met his wife, Laura. He lovingly recounted their meeting at a beach in Little Eagle’s Bay as “love at first sight.” When he first saw Laura on the beach, he turned to her friend and remarked “I’m going to marry that girl” - before any introduction. Within less than a year they married. Daniel always knew he wanted to be a father and dedicated the rest of his life to supporting his family. Together, he and Laura traveled the world and raised a family of three children in their dream house on the beach in Colchester, VT. Daniel was the definition of a family man, supporting them through each milestone.
Daniel made countless friends throughout his intentional yet short life. He was most known in his community of Port Aransas for being kind and personable to everyone he met, always taking the extra time to say hello, and seeking ways to help others. In honor of his mom, he carried on the tradition of being the first to call and send out a card on birthdays and follow up after life’s big and small moments. Daniel put emphasis on helping in the community, including serving on the board of directors at Ronald McDonald House (RMH), being a lector at the church, and serving as the HOA president of his neighborhood. In life’s difficult moments, Daniel always knew the perfect thing to say and personable gesture to follow. His legacy of kindness will forever live on in so many people. He added meaning to every life he touched and will be forever celebrated in this way.
Daniel was predeceased by his parents Lucille & Daniel (Earl) Merchant I, and his brother Richard "Dick" Merchant.
Daniel is survived by his wife Laura; his three children, Daniel (Carrie) Merchant III, Chelsea (Steve) Hedeman, Emily (John) Merchant; four sisters, Betty Merchant, Dianne (Bob) Skinner,
Sharman (Jean) Birtz, and Annette (Charles) Schlegelmilch; 5 nephews, 8 nieces and 1 grandchild (Neve) also survive.
A service will be held in his honor at 10 am on Thursday, March 31 at St Joseph Catholic Church in Port Aransas, TX. A Celebration of Life will follow from 12:00P.M. – 3:00 P.M. at Seafood & Spaghetti Works. For more details and to share a fond memory of Daniel, go to rememberingdanielmerchant.com .
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in his name to the Ronald McDonald House of Burlington, VT (www.rmhcvt.org) or the Texas Sea Life Center of Corpus Christi ( www.texassealifecenter.org ).