Daniel Jay Meck, 63, Gulf War vet, machine gunner, installed first ATMs on carrier ships

By on December 26, 2018

Daniel Jay Meck, of Lancaster, formerly of Lititz, entered life Sept. 12, 1955 in Ephrata, and entered eternal paradise Dec. 18, 2018.

His spirit is carried on by his wife: Clarita Meck; and three children: Sheryl N. Meck, Michelle D. Meck, Joseph J. Meck; and two living grandsons: Julian Heagy, son of Michelle; and Ace’on Davis, son of Sheryl. Also left to cherish his memory is his mother: Sara Meck (Ephrata) and three siblings: Dave Meck (New York), Karen Meck (Millersville), William Meck (Reinholds); and a host of relatives and dear friends.

Dan was preceded in death by his father: Joseph Z. Meck and brother James Meck.

Husband, Father, Pop-pop and friend, his presence was so comforting. He made all feel welcomed. Big as a bear, yet so gentle. He was full of jokes and opinions. Dan loved our God and guided his children through truth in His word. He adored his grandchildren, who loved him dearly.

Dan’s life was full of accomplishments. He joined the Navy in January 1982 out of a strong desire to serve his country. After completing boot camp at NRTC Great Lakes, Ill., he attended DK “A” school at NTTC Meriden, Miss., and graduated with top honors. He then reported to USS Ranger, where he excelled in his career and served with excellence and exceptional professionalism. His tours of duty took him to the Western Pacific, the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Oman and the Strait of Hormuz, with port of calls in Hawaii, the Philippines, Oman, Diego Garcia and Australia. During his time in the Philippines, Dan received two concurrent Sailor of the Quarter awards and was honored the Sailor of the Year award for his service in the Personnel Support Detachment of the Subic Bay Naval Base. He was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal from the Commander in Chief U.S. Pacific Fleet by certification from the Secretary of the Navy. He also received two good conduct medals, several awarded letters of appreciation and numerous other service awards.

While serving on USS Ranger, Dan’s major accomplishment was the introduction of automatic teller machines (ATMs). Today, these machines are commonplace on carriers. At that time, USS Ranger was one of only two carriers testing this system and Dan was at the forefront, handling over one million in accounts on the newly placed machines. Dan often found himself as the only one between malfunctioning machines and hundreds of USS Ranger sailors eager to have access to their funds. The success of these machines aboard today’s carriers is due to the efforts of Dan.

Dan also served on the Subic Bay Naval Security Force as an M-60 machine gunner. Not only did he earn his expert ribbons in both the M-16A1 and .45 caliber handgun but he was trained to use the 81mm mortar and LAWS rocket launcher as well.

In 1991, just six days after his son was born, Dan made his biggest sacrifice and was deployed to serve in the Gulf War. His efforts while serving displayed loyalty, initiative, and work ethic. It was an honor for him to serve our country.

Daniel Jay Meck leaves countless precious memories. He was our hero. He was our father. He was our friend. He will always be loved, and his memory will continue. Heaven has gained a new soldier, who loves our God and is ready for his new assignment.

Friends and family gathered Dec. 22 at the Ephrata Church of the Brethren to pay final respects.

Memorial contributions in Daniel’s memory may be made to Wounded Warriors Family Support, 11218 John Galt Boulevard #103, Omaha, NE 68137.

Arrangements by Stradling Funeral Homes, Akron/Ephrata. Online condolences can be given at stradlingfuneralhome.com.

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