The Rev. Dr. Dan Rosemergy, born August 12, 1939, died in his home in Uplands Village, Pleasant Hill, TN, on July 10, 2019, from pulmonary fibrosis. He was a minister and an interfaith and social justice advocate. He worked throughout his professional careers to bring people together across ethnic, racial, gender, and religious lines.
Born August 12, 1939, and raised in the “Copper Country” of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the Rev. Dr. Dan Rosemergy was the son of the late Silas and Esther Rosemergy.
Dan was a graduate of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where he earned B.A. (History/English) and M.A. (Higher Education Administration) degrees. He then served as a Naval Supply Officer stationed in Morocco and Washington, DC.
Dan’s first career was in higher education administration at the University of Michigan (UM) at Ann Arbor, where he directed a large residence hall. Later he was Associate Director of Financial Aid, with subsequent service in Financial Aid at UM-Flint and Eastern Michigan University.
Dan was a second career minister. In 1979, he took a sabbatical to study theology and social ethics at the Vanderbilt Divinity School (VDS) and decided to pursue a career in ministry. At VDS, he earned a Master of Divinity degree with honors (1982) and a Doctor of Ministry degree (1988) with a focus on pastoral care/counseling.
Dan “retired” from congregational ministry to pursue other forms of ministry after serving 30 years with two Nashville congregations. He served 20 years as the Pastor of the Brookmeade Congregational United Church of Christ. He then served 10 years as the Minister of the Greater Nashville Unitarian Universalist Congregation and was honored as Minister Emeritus.
Dan was deeply committed to interfaith work and advocacy for peace, social justice, human rights, and religious freedom.
Dan was active in the community and nation. He served 12 years on the national Interfaith Alliance Board of Directors, and he served on the Board of Trustees of the Mountain Retreat and Learning Center in Highlands, NC, for several years. He helped found the Interfaith Alliance of Middle Tennessee and served as its Chairperson. He was President of the Board of Directors of the Nashville Cordell Hull Chapter of the United Nations Association, USA. He was a member of the Advisory Boards of the Atlantic Institute (TN) committed to cultural exchange and interfaith dialogue; and the World Wisdom Bible Project. Dan served on many other boards and steering committees over the years including Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee, Jobs with Justice, and the Nashville Peace and Justice Center, which he helped found in 1991. He was a member of Leadership Nashville and was a frequent guest speaker for organizations and events around the city.
Family, friends, and colleagues speak of Dan’s vitality, warmth, humor, generosity, compassion, and commitment.
Dan is survived by his wife of 44 years, Jan Rosemergy; foster son Ricky Gijzels; sister Marion Zoellner; nephew Bob Duncan and niece Leigh Ann Gorris; sisters-in-law Tracy Duncan and Christine Cramer; brother-in-law Brian Gorris; and four great-nieces and nephews.
A service celebrating Dan’s life and ministry will be held at 2 pm, Saturday, August 24, 2019, at Greater Nashville Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 374 Hicks Road, Nashville, Tennessee.
If you wish to send a card, Jan Rosemergy is at PO Box 40, Pleasant Hill TN 38578.