Surrounded by her family, Joyce “Joy” Merritt, 71, left this world for her eternal reward on Saturday, January 14, 2023, after a hard-fought battle with cancer. Her absence leaves a void that no one else can fill. Her presence was larger than life and those that knew her were better for it.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Father - Roy Smith, Sr., Mother - Martha Harper, and Brother - Sam Smith.
Her name gave reference to who she truly was - Joy. Her life was lived in a purposeful manner to show love to every person whom she came in contact with. She loved her husband, her children and grandchildren, her family, friends and any person she met with a love that could only be shown through her Savior, Jesus Christ. Jesus was her guiding light and it has shown brighter than any other. As a member and Sunday school teacher at Macedonia Church of God, for well over 50 years, she led and influenced others to take the path of Jesus. She witnessed to everyone she met and ministered through her life of servanthood.
Joy enjoyed gardening, smelling flowers and perfume, cooking and baking, “proge-ing around” in stores, eating “hodge-podge” at midnight, “Coke-colers”, lemons and salt, listening to music, fishing, picnics, telling stories from the past, and loving on any child she saw. She was a Mother, first and foremost to her children, grandchildren, and many cousins, nieces, and nephews. She never met a stranger and was the life of the party. She lived her life as an open book and loved unapologetically. Fittingly, her last words were, “I love you.”
Survivors include her husband of 53 years - Jerry Merritt of Denton, Son – Wayne Merritt (Deana) of FairPlay, South Carolina, Daughter – Charlotte Merritt of Denton, Daughter – Elizabeth Dunn (Chris) of Hawkinsville, Georgia. Joyce cherished her Grandchildren – Samantha Merritt, Lauren Merritt, and Lexi Girtman. She also adored her Great Grandchildren – Maddox Poma, Mattison Kate Dunn, and Mackenna Joy Dunn, Brothers – Roy Smith, Jr (Linda), Billy Smith, and Jeff Vann (Karen).
Visitation will be held at Wainright and Parlor Funeral Home, Thursday, January 19, 2023, from 5 pm to 7pm.
Services will be held at Macedonia Church of God in Denton on Friday, January 20, 2023, at 1 pm, with viewing beginning at 12pm. Van McCall will officiate and musical rendering by Angie McCall.
Active Pallbearers include Keith Smith, Jamie Smith, Stacey Merritt, Slate Vann, Gaines Spell, Oakley Perry, Jerry Wooten, and John Smith.
Wainright and Parlor is in charge of funeral arrangements.