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Mrs. Joyce ‘Joy’ Merritt, 71

Surrounded by her family, Joyce “Joy” Merritt, 71, left this world for her eternal reward Jan. 14 after a hard-fought battle with cancer. Her absence leaves a void 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, Roy Smith Sr. and 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 with whom she came in contact. She loved her husband, children and grandchildren, 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 shone 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, S.C., daughter Charlotte Merritt of Denton, daughter Elizabeth Dunn (Chris) of Hawkinsville. Joyce cherished her grandchildren Samantha Merritt, Lauren Merritt, and Lexi Girtman. She 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 at Wainright and Parlor Funeral Home, Jan. 19 from 5 to 7 p.m.
Services will be at Macedonia Church of God in Denton Jan. 20 at 1 pm, with viewing beginning at 12 p.m. 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.

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