Edwin Demeritte, an insurance executive with MetLife, community leader and Miami native, earned regional awards in his profession and served on the board of St. John Community Development Corporation to revitalize Overtown.
All of his endeavors were important, he would say, but education was key.
“This probably came from his parents. His father was a minister and education was very important to everyone in the family,” said daughter Deborah Demeritte-Moore. “He always encouraged us to stay in school and get that education.”
As such, Demeritte, who died at 79 on May 3, worked his way through the Miami-Dade Public Schools system, traveling a path from classroom teacher, department head, guidance counselor, assistant principal and principal at the former North Dade Senior High and North Dade Middle School in Bunche Park in the 1960s. He also served the district as assistant director of special programs.
Demeritte, who lived in the Floral Park neighborhood of Miami on the outskirts of Liberty City, was born in Coconut Grove on June 25, 1935, and graduated from Booker T. Washington Junior-Senior High School in Overtown. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Florida A&M University and while at FAMU his interest in journalism led him to serve as senior editor of the FAMU newspaper and editor-in-chief of the 1958 yearbook.
In 1975, Demeritte earned a doctorate degree in education from Nova Southeastern University, while raising five children in Miami with ex-wife Edith Demeritte.
A lifetime member of the Million Dollar Roundtable, Demeritte served as the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors-Miami Dade president in 2008 and a national committee member from 2009 to 2014.
Demeritte is survived by his children Kathy, Michelle and Edwin T. Demeritte, Deborah Demeritte-Moore and Dianne Demeritte-Westby; 13 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
A wake will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, followed by a funeral at 1:30 p.m. Friday, both at Church of God of Prophecy No. 1, 4528 NW First Ave., Miami. In lieu of flowers, donations in Demeritte’s name can be made to Historic Hampton House, 5400 NW 22nd Ave., Miami, FL 33142.
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