Patricia Pauline "Pat" Merrill
If you're reading/hearing this then I've had the privilege of beating you to the Promised Land. However, at this writing I am very much alive and have no plans to take the above mentioned journey anytime soon. My children have told me from time to time how hard it was for them to write their father's obituary so this relieves them of that burden. I very much suspect that after having this literary masterpiece made public they are wishing they had taken on the task.
I was born Sunday, December 2, 1945 in the thriving metropolis (population approximately 1,000) of Spur, Texas in the tiny Nichols Hospital. My first introduction to pain was, by a man of course, via a spanking done by Dr. J.F. Hughes. I've been told I was a troublemaker from day one as it was sleeting, cold, windy and dark but I refused to wait to make my entrance on a better weather night. I already had an older brother, 18 month old George Durwood Elliott, the smart, likable, dependable best older brother ever (most of the time). At this time he is 77, not very well and lives in Wichita Falls, Texas with "Baby", his rescue dog. His wife of 43 years, Zana, suffered a massive stroke and left us in 2018. Eighteen months after my inconvenient birth another son was born making me the only girl and the middle child in every sense of the word. The little intruder was officially named Billie Don but in a very short time would affectionally become known as "mean little Bill", a name he earned from the time he ran away to go "wabbit huntin" at about the age of 3 until I was old enough to date and my boyfriend (Arnold) had to give him .50 cents every time he came over so that Bill would stop hanging over the back of the sofa between us. Unfortunately, we lost him in 2002 at the age of 55 due to a massive heart attack. As he was sleeping at the time, the attack was undoubtedly brought on while dreaming up another prank to pull on some poor unsuspecting soul. He had one great love, Cheryl, who survives him. He left two children, Janet and Michael. Our parents were George Belle "G.B." and Pauline Rodgers Elliott. When I was 15 years old, my Dad was murdered at the hands of a drunk while trying to enjoy a family meal at a local restaurant in Haskell, Texas. He was 39 years old. Mama died of heart disease at the age of 68 in Wichita Falls, Texas. Both are buried in Oak Grove Cemetery at Graham, Texas. For many years I was blessed with an awesome stepfather, Roy Webb Hammett. He died September 19, 2010.
At the time of this writing I am 75 years, two months and 4 days old. I'm sure I'll update this from time to time but for now this is accurate. I have no idea what I died of. It might have been anything from COPD to heartworms. I lived, I blinked, and it was over.
I earned my LPN degree in 1978 from Rich Mountain Vocational Technical School long before it became Rich Mountain Community College. It was the first year the nursing course was offered. I was on the Deans List as well as bus driver and radio spokesperson for our class. I later earned a degree in Medical Transcription from Vernon Regional College in Wichita Falls, Texas and was again on the Deans list. I have long been proficient at anything to do with needles. I am a master seamstress having kept my daughter in a new outfit almost weekly during her high school years. I made the first, and only, fully lined, vested suit my youngest son ever had. I am proficient at crochet, embroidery and cross stitch. I dabbled in knitting, quilting and tatting just to prove I could. It was only natural to go into the field of nursing as the art of giving injections only added to my expertise with needles.
After a couple of "glitches" I married Lee Jerome Merrill on October 4, 2001. Our marriage ended with his death on August 11, 2011 due to the ravages of Parkinson's, heart disease and diabetes. He was a decorated, Purple Heart holding veteran, a big, handsome man with a voice to match. He was a force to be reckoned with. I miss him still.
My love of reading is second only to the adoration I felt for each of my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Wayne, my multi-talented, "cowboy", firstborn who truly lives every little boys dream and resides on a ranch in Oklahoma with the love of his life, Sharon.
My beautiful, fiery, loyal, sensitive Tammy who has spent her life denying she's a lot like me.
Reese, the tender-hearted jokester, "fixer" of all things, who lives to aggravate his sister and to this day swears "she's adopted.” She nicknamed him "the brat" at an early age and it's still her chosen name for him.
I've been known to say, "If I had known how awesome my grandchildren would be I would have skipped the children," (kidding, of course). Blake, the countless hours of pleasure I experienced as I watched you play ball, go on to get your master's, coach you own teams and have a beautiful family.
Kristen, the many nights you spent in bed with us as a toddler telling about riding the school bus whose driver was a "bear". You couldn't wait to go to school and go to school you did, earning double degrees in the same year while working and raising a young daughter all on your own.
Josh, kind, tender hearted, hard worker who loved to point out he-he's (horses) wherever he found them. You loved the "Woody" character from “The Toy Story” to the point of wearing your “Woody" hat everywhere.
Chance, loving, gentle, patient, loyal and a survivor. You learned to crawl and make my music box play at about the same time. Your love of "Barney" resulted in a handmade Halloween costume of the same. Reeselyn, adorable, sassy, likes her hair "fluffy" and had an uncanny knack of instantly naming her possessions. Case in point, "America". Leslie, Dallas, William, Dalton, and Jordan, how I wish I had known you better. Jayce, Landon, Kynleigh and my special angel, Analeigh (little a), my sweet, precious, double-perfect, great-grands. You light up my life.
I love my Lord and Savior, the Bible, my children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, my country and almost anything "Texan". I enjoy genealogy and have researched one side of my family since they landed in Watertown, N.Y. from Scotland, fought in the Civil War and finally landed in Texas. Yes, we were originally “damn Yankees” but only until we learned better.
My favorite food is chicken 'n dumplings, homemade coconut cream pie, seafood and anything Mexican. My favorite bible verse is John 3:16 and my favorite gospel song is "The Old Rugged Cross". The words make me cry. My favorite movie is "Gone With the Wind." My favorite color is any shade of purple and I adore Texas Bluebonnets. Nothing more beautiful than a field of them in the spring. I love history, old homes, old movies and a few old men (Pop, Lee, David, Wayne and Reese).
My biggest dislikes are seeing the word Christmas with a "X" where the word Christ should be and taking the Lord's name in vain.
My paternal Grandmother once told me that I was, "the ugliest baby she had ever seen", just before she told me that if you were born ugly you would grow up to be a beauty and vice versa. She redeemed my hurt feelings with the last half of that sentence as she was my favorite grandparent and the one who always had a biscuit with butter and sugar, a soft lap and unlimited patience. I'll leave it up to the ones who know me to decide if her prediction came true or not. What I do know is that I now have the smoking hot body I've always wanted...having been cremated! Yes, Tam, I'm watching you (family joke).
I've written my own, slightly unusual obituary because I didn't want this day to be remembered as only a sad one. I do want you to cry a little, after all, I did die! Please bear in mind that our separation is a temporary one and I'll be dancing with Pop and the angels until such time as the Lord reunites us, so be happy for me. There is one other little thing I would like to insert here but my family would all go into shock so I won't. Tammy knows! Don’t you be laughing, Tam. It’s something you can all laugh about at the family meal I hope you all share together after this celebration.
Besides my younger brother and parents, I'm preceded in death by the fathers of my children, William Arnold Jones and Maurice Manasco, Sr.. If our children have any faults (which I doubt) they most certainly were inherited from the male side of their parentage. There, I finally got the last word! A private family graveside service was held at Pleasant Grove Cemetery in Cove, Arkansas under the direction of Bowser Family Funeral Home.
6-29-22 2:41PM KAWX.ORG