Cover photo for Betty Jane Merritt's Obituary
Betty Jane Merritt Profile Photo

Betty Jane Merritt

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

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Betty Jane Merritt, please visit our flower store.


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