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November 14, 1953 ~ September 20, 2023 (age 69) 69 Years Old
12 Trees, Flowers, or Condolences have been shared with support of Roberta's family - View on Tribute Wall
Family will receive friends on Thursday, October 12, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. until time of service at 12:00 p.m. at Church of Christ of the Apostolic Faith, 1200 Brentnell Avenue, Columbus, OH 43219.
Sunrise Roberta Merritt was born in Columbus, Ohio on November 14, 1953, to the late Alice (Russell) and Joshua Tatum. She was the fourth eldest of five children. She graduated from Linden McKinley High School, where she enjoyed serving in various organizations and hanging out with her friends and family that also attended there. She graduated high school early and would often join her mother in assisting with events at Ilonka’s Provincial House. She had a heart to serve and did it with excellence.
She later went to work at Wee Winkie Day Care as she loved working with children and youth, often providing care for them in her own home for family and close friends. She was also employed with the United States Postal Service and the Defense Supply Center Columbus, DLA Land and Maritime (DSCC). DSCC, is where she served The United States Armed Forces, obtained her bachelor’s degree from Park University, and retired after 43 years of service.
Roberta was passionate not only about serving and caring for others, but about family, her many talents, and the Lord Jesus Christ. She was a pillar of strength and a confidant for her family. She was the glue that tied everyone together. She especially enjoyed spending time with her daughter and granddaughter, whether it was attending a school or dance event, shopping, grabbing a bite to eat, sharing recipes, a phone call, a prayer, or just being an ear to listen or shoulder to lean on. She also loved to sing, listen to gospel music, travel, and create floral arrangements and décor for her home and events for her family and friends. Her keen eye for detail and touch of class made those moments extra special.
Roberta had a quiet and gentle spirit. She loved confessing her faith and love for God to others. She was baptized in Jesus’ name and filled with the Holy Spirit at Bethel Pentecostal Church in London, Ohio, under the pastorate of the late Suffragan Bishop John Thomas Jones. There, she was a teacher and mentor for youth and served in various capacities in the church. She continued her service for the Lord and became a member of The Church of Christ of the Apostolic Faith in Columbus, Ohio. This is where she accepted the call of Evangelist, sharing and teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. She honored God and was very active in her church community. God used Roberta to touch the lives of others in many ways, some of which include serving on the Ministerial staff, the Pastor’s Aide Committee, the Hospitality Committee, the Bereavement Committee, the Women’s Ministry, Ministers’ Wives, and singing in the Women’s Choir. She also enjoyed volunteering for the Bread of Life Ministry, Vacation Bible School, Sister Clara Waters’ clothing giveaway, and visiting and praying for the sick.
Sunset Roberta was a beautiful, generous, and loving person. She was a daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, cousin, godmother, confidant, friend, and an overall blessing to those whose lives she touched. She transitioned peacefully from this earthly life into the arms of God on September 20, 2023. Freed from the cares of this world and free to walk those streets paved with gold. Roberta is preceded in death by her parents Joshua and Alice Tatum; brother, Wilson Briggs; maternal grandparents, Mathew and Roena Russell Sr.; paternal grandparents, Henry and Grace Tatum; special daughter in Christ, Nancy (Lloyd) Jackson.
She leaves to cherish her memory, daughter, Tinisha Merritt; granddaughter, Alainna Merritt; sisters, Charlesetta Malcom, Rosetta Wiggins, Debbie Tatum, and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives, spiritual daughters and sons, and many special friends.