Private Memorial Service will be held Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. at White's Funeral Home's Chapel. Family will receive flowers at the funeral home.
Barbara Jean Merritt (nee Gordon) was born August 16, 1943 in Price Hill, West Virginia and migrated with her mother to Columbus, Ohio in 1948. She grew up in Franklinton on the west side of Columbus and attended Bellows Elementary School, Starling Junior High School, and graduated from Central High School in January 1963. She received her Associates of Applied Science Degree in Mental Health and Mental Retardation from Columbus Technical Institute in 1986 and her Bachelor of General Studies Degree from Capital University in 1998.
Among her jobs throughout her near-40 year career included a Nursing Assistant at Grant Hospital, a Nursing Aide at Greenlawn Nursing Home, a Substance Abuse Counselor with the Columbus Board of Health, and subsequently with the State of Ohio at several different state agencies. She was licensed with the Ohio Chemical Dependency Board, first as a Certified Prevention Consultant in 1989 and then as a Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor in 1990. She retired from the State of Ohio in 2003 and became an independent substance abuse trainer consultant until she fully retired in 2009.
She was married several times, her last marriage being to Rodney E. Merritt, Sr. She was a recovering alcoholic who faithfully attended Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings for 38 years and gained a host of friends and supporters and sponsored numerous other recovering alcoholics over the years. She was very family-oriented, whether hosting annual Christmas breakfasts at her house, taking a family trip to an amusement park or family reunion, or auditioning with her family to be contestants on “Family Feud”, she believed that family was the most important social unit and that doing things together as a family was critical in maintaining its solidarity.
Even in her final years where her health had begun to decline, her tenacity and strong-willed spirit kept her active with AA and mobile throughout her retirement up to her final day when she departed from us to be with the Lord on October 26, 2020 at Paramount Senior Living in Westerville, Ohio.
She is preceded in death by her mother Roberta Reynolds and her special friend Ralph Guthrie. She is survived by her seven children Rochelle (Willie) Lockett, Lee (Tasha) Price, Yusuf Rashid, Joseph Dunson, Jason (Lauren) Jones, Kevin Jones, Brian Merritt, Special grandson Lee Anthony Price along with 27 other grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great grandson, and a host of friends and relatives. She will be greatly missed by all who had the privilege of knowing her and loving her.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Barbara J. Merritt, please visit our floral store.