Tupelo- Gary Lynn Merritt, 71, passed away on Wednesday, December 20, 2017 at his residence. Gary was born in Pontotoc, MS on November 9, 1946 to E.T. and Marie Merritt. He attended Lawhon; Tupelo High School, class of 64; Itawamba Junior College; and the University of Southern Miss. He played football, basketball, and baseball during his school years. He married his childhood sweetheart and the love of his life, Barbara Lynn Watts, on May 28, 1967. They celebrated their 50th anniversary this year. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in February 1968 and was stationed at Fort Campbell, KY; Fort Knox, KY; and Friedburg, Germany until his honorable discharge in 1970. He was also a member of the MS National Guard for 8 years. He and Barbara had their only child, Amanda Clay Merritt Golding, in 1971. She has been the joy of their life. He later gained a son when she married Stephen Clay Golding in 1993. Gary and Barbara loved traveling and have been to all 50 states including Europe several times. He was an avid hunter for many years, was a champion skeet shooter, and loved playing golf with his buddies, Charlie England and Mark Pomeroy while he was able to do so. He started Tupelo Fire Equipment in 1974 and retired in 2012. He served on several Advisory Boards while in the business. He was a member of Tupelo Free Will Baptist Church where he served as a Deacon. He leaves his wife of 50 years, Barbara; his daughter and son-in-law, Mandy and Steve Golding; and sisters and brothers-in-law, Charles and Shelia Estess, Matt and Rhonda Romito, Roger Lanphere, and Paul Thompson; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father and mother, E.T. and Marie Merritt, his father and mother-in-law, Roy and Mavis Watts, and his sisters-in-law, Pat Thompson and Peggy Lanphere.
Services will be held at 11AM Friday, December 22, 2017 in the Tupelo Chapel of Holland Funeral Directors with Bro. Terry Pierce officiating. Burial will follow in Lee Memorial Park. Visitation will be 4PM-7PM on Thursday, December 21, 2017 and Friday 10:30AM-service time. Condolences may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The service may also be viewed via livestreaming at hollandfuneraldirectors.com/streaming.
Pallbearers will be Ronny Parker, Charlie England, Mark Pomeroy, Dennis Buckner, Terry Brandon, Larry Graves, James Scott, and Danny Brown.
Memorials may be sent to the Tupelo Free Will Baptist Church Building Fund, 1650 N. Veterans Memorial Blvd., Tupelo, MS 38804 or to the Tupelo-Lee Humane Society, P.O. Box. 1185, Tupelo, MS 38802.
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Celebrating the life of Gary Merritt
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Read John 5:28,29- Reading from the scriptures gives you comfort and peace.
Submitted by Irene on Dec 25 2017 10:22:40 AM
Barbara, my sincere condolences to you and your family.
Submitted by Mary Ann Towery on Dec 21 2017 07:11:18 PM
Ann Ellis Payne lit a candle for Gary Merritt
Ann Ellis Payne lit a candle on Dec 21 2017 01:44:22 PM
Barbara I am so sorry for your loss. Gary was a very special man. I love you and your family. I am praying for y'all
Submitted by Jake Davis on Dec 21 2017 01:33:25 PM
Barbara, Mandy & Steve so sorry to hear of your loss!!!! Praying for you guys in the days a head!!!!
Submitted by Marilyn Beckham White on Dec 21 2017 12:29:47 PM
My condolences to this family. Barbara, I am walking in the same shoes and my heart goes out to you as you have lost a treasure. Just keep your chin up and remember all of the wonderful times you shared with him. Jo Ann Reed
Submitted by Jo Ann Reed on Dec 21 2017 10:23:06 AM
Please accept my deepest sympathy for the loss of your loved one, Gary. May you find comfort in the words written at Acts 24:15, where God promises to back to life those we have lost in death by means of a resurrection. In the near future He will also eliminate our enemy, death.(Revelation 21:4) This gives us the wonderful hope of being reunited with our loved ones, forever. Until then I hope the memories of Gary and these promises from God comfort you in the days to come.
Submitted by Jo on Dec 21 2017 09:01:37 AM
My condolences to the family and friends of Gary Merritt. There was no person as nice as him, either as a boss or a friend. He will be missed.
Submitted by Keith Crowell on Dec 21 2017 01:57:53 AM
Diane Wilson Whitt lit a candle for Gary Merritt
Diane Wilson Whitt lit a candle on Dec 20 2017 11:14:07 PM
Please accept my condolences. Gary was a super nice guy.
Submitted by Sandra Kingsley Curtis on Dec 20 2017 06:32:17 PM
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