Betty Jane Merritt

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Betty Jane Merritt was born on September 3, 1949, in Wheeling, West Virginia, and entered into eternity on Sunday, January 28, 2024, at 74 years old.

She was preceded in death by her parents, John and Anna J. Lewis, son Jerry Dowd, Jr., brothers Charles and Robert Lewis, and nephew John L. Tisdale.

Betty’s spiritual journey began in her youth, embracing a lifelong connection with Christ. After graduating from Tridelphia High School in Wheeling, WV, she moved to Columbus, Ohio, contributing her talents to the Battelle Memorial Institute. Betty then ventured to Newark, NJ, working at Martland Medical Center before returning to West Virginia, where she married and joyously welcomed her son, Jerry.

During this period, Betty served as the secretary to the President of Wheeling Jesuit College and later became the CEO of a medical clinic, tirelessly supporting underserved communities in Wheeling.

In her later years, Betty returned to Columbus, Ohio, dedicating herself to impactful community outreach. She actively participated in “Doing the Right Healthy Thing” at Riverside Hospital and contributed to the noble initiatives of The Columbus Urban League.

A faithful member of the First Church of God, Columbus, Ohio, Betty later went under watch care at Providence Baptist Church in Mansfield, Ohio, from 2022 onward. Devoted to God, family, and church, she actively attended Sunday service, participated in Bible study and church activities, and volunteered generously.

Betty lived a life filled with joy, compassion, and warmth, leaving a legacy of love and care. She took great pride in her appearance, engaging in delightful conversations with salon companions during hair appointments. Betty enjoyed exploring new places and dining out with friends. Known for keeping an exemplary home, her culinary expertise and nurturing spirit shone through her passion for cooking, baking, and hosting, magnifying her dedication to the well-being of the community.

Beyond the kitchen, Betty found solace in gardening, tending to her flower garden and deriving joy from the beauty she cultivated. Fondly remembered as a woman of God, Betty consistently offered kind words and warm smiles and regularly called to check on people. Betty embodied a spirit of love and compassion that touched the lives of all who knew her.

A dedicated wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend, Betty is survived by her husband, Donnie Merritt; sister, Roberta Holmes; grandson, Jarren Dowd; aunts Ina Lucille Brown and Glenda Donaldson; uncles Charles Donaldson (Beverly) and James Richards, NJ; nephews and nieces Otha Tisdale, Jr., Robert Tisdale, Robert Pettress, Yvette Lewis, Stacy Lewis, and Tracey Lewis; along with a multitude of relatives and friends who will forever cherish her memory.

Visitation 10:00 AM and Funeral Service 11:00 AM Thursday, February 8, 2024 at First Church of God , 3480 Refugee Road. Interment at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery. Ministry of Comfort entrusted to MARLAN J. GARY FUNERAL HOME, MANSFIELD CHAPEL, 753 McPherson St. (formerly Willams Funeral Services). To read the complete obituary, order flowers, view video tribute and offer condolences to the Merritt Family, visit

Condolence Messages

  1. Providence Baptist Church of Mansfield Ohio will truly miss your smile and warm heart.
    You are gone too soon, but just to know that you are in the arms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; where there will be no more suffering no more tears or pain.
    You have fought a Good Fight you have finished your course and in heaven there waits a crown of Life.
    We Love you forever.
    Pastor Mark Cobb and the Providence Baptist Church Family

  2. To The Merritt Family, I am so very sorry for the loss of Betty, she was a very good friend I will miss her very much, she was such a lovely caring lady. Praying for the family.

  3. Please accept my heartfelt condolences on your loss.

  4. John & Renee Bessick

    She was a holy woman of God fill with so much love and compassion for others. She truly care for “the least of these” when it comes to the church. Our prayers are lifted for Donnie and the rest of the Merritt Family. She will certainly be miss but we will see her again in the precious name of Jesus.

  5. So sorry for your loss. Betty was a very sweet lady, my prayers and condolences are with the family

  6. Donnie
    The passing of Betty was such a shock to me because we talked all of the time. I have known her for years and we had a very close relationship. She had a kind heart and one of the sweetest spirits. We shared so many stories and she always prayed with me and for me. She was a true woman of God and a prayer warrior. Betty had a heart of gold and if she was your friend she was a true friend. I am so grateful for our friendship. My heart still hurts but I know she was ready for heaven so I am ok. Despite some of the health challenges and some of the things that she went through she never lost her faith in God. She will truly be missed.
    Donnie you bought so much happiness to her life and she truly loved you. Thank you for loving her the way a queen should be loved. My prayers will always be with you.

  7. Simply heart broken that sweet beautiful Betty is gone too soon.

  8. Twyla Wilkins Hood

    What a Beautiful Lady always impeccably dressed with her which to me exemplies Love. I always loved her presence. I know that God welcomed you with open arms. May your soul rest In His arms where you are safe with that million dollar smile. Sincerely

  9. Rita J. Shoulders

    I am so sorry for her loss.She was a very special friend and she was so very loved person very very nice. I will miss her so much because we talk a lot all the time.So sweet heart Rest In Heaven. I am praying for you.This is just not real when you just talk to her.In The Name Of Jesus.Amen and Amen and Amen Again.❤️

  10. Betty Palmer-Harris

    My heartfelt sympathy to the family of Betty Merritt in the passing of your loved one. May God bless you at this time of sorrow.

  11. Leonard, Gail and Jordyn Hubert

    Our thoughts and prayers are with the Merritt family. We’re going to miss Sister Betty’s phone calls. We enjoyed our last visit with her and Donnie this past summer looking at vegetable and floral plants!

  12. Patricia Harris Pride

    My condolences and prayers to the family. She was a beautiful woman in and out.

  13. My condolences and prayers go out to the family. Mrs Betty will surely be missed with her loving and caring personality with a radiant smile that lit up a room. She definitely earned her wings and will never be forgotten.

  14. Don,
    We love you, dear brother— and our hearts and prayers are with you during this difficult and painful time of the loss of your precious Betty. May the Lord Himself be your comfort and strength this day and in the days ahead.

  15. Linda Ross Newsome

    I have known Betty for many years. We met through our work at OhioHealth. I so admired her caring spirit. She loved her family, her fair and later she loved you. And her life was happy as your wife. May you be upheld by God’s love during this difficult time. Blessings, Linda Ross Newsome

  16. The Family of Betty J Merritt
    My sincere sympathy goes out to ALL of you.
    What a Great lost she will be to us. She loved people and if she was your Friend she was a friend to the very end. She TRULY loved with her WHOLE HEART. She first and foremost LOVE the LORD and talked about HIM all the time. You have fault a good fight but, the battle wasn’t yours it was the LORDS.

  17. Minister Behavior Bryant & Family

    Our sincere condolences to her entire family & loved ones; You’re all in our thoughts and prayers.

  18. I was so sad to hear Betty’s battled shortened her time here on earth, but I know she was welcomed in the hereafter saying A Job Well Done My Good And Faithful Servant!!! I didn’t know Betty very long, but from the first moment I met Betty everytime I had the occasion to be in her presence nothing but Love exuded from her everytime we were together! And her culinary art was so delicious ! Prayer to all her family and friends!

  19. Mr.&Ms. James Alexander

    Our deepest sympathy to your family. What a beautiful soul. She will be missed

  20. Shirley Belcher & family

    Heart felt condolences to the family.

  21. Elder Tillman Franklin Jr

    My Brother To GOD be THE GLORY OUR prayers are with you .When I first got saved YOU helped me to understand The change in My life Thank you My friend and Brother ❣️ FAMILY ALWAYS ❗ Elder Tillman Franklin Jr you and your wife,are certainly of The Best JES(US).

  22. Elder Tillman Franklin Jr

    My Brother To GOD be THE GLORY OUR prayers are with you .When I first got saved YOU helped me to understand The change in My life Thank you My friend and Brother ❣️ FAMILY ALWAYS ❗ Elder Tillman Franklin Jr you and your wife,are certainly of The Best of JES(US).

  23. Crittenden and McCowan Family

    Our sincere condolences to the family ❤️

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