BRINNON — Brinnon Fire Commissioner Meril Smith has died at the age of 85.
He died Wednesday of natural causes while visiting his daughter in California, said Fire Chief Tim Manly.
Smith was first elected fire commissioner on Jan. 1, 2002, after he served as a volunteer with the department since March 1997.
Overall, he had served the fire district for 24 years.
“Meril loved his constant connection with the fire service and was proud of the fire department, fire department members, and the community he served,” Manly said in a press release.
“He was spending time each morning drinking coffee with the crews and telling his life’s stories.”
Manly said Smith was instrumental in many fire district upgrades, including new fire apparatus that was delivered this year.
“His contribution to the fire department, his exceptional caring for department members, and his service to his country and community will not be forgotten,” Manly said.
Smith’s career was in the U.S. Navy and later in the carpenters’ union industry from which he retired in 1995.
He is survived by his wife, Yolanda, and his four children, eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren as well as “his fire department family, and many friends across the community,” Manly said.
Manly had no word about funeral services from the family as of Thursday.