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Obituaries are so much more than a public notice that a friend or loved one has passed away.

Wanda M. Merritt

7/4/1944 - 12/21/2019

PEKIN ~ Wanda Mae Merritt, 75, of Pekin, passed away at 1:12 a.m. Saturday, December 21, 2019 at her home.

Born July 4, 1944 in Anna, IL to Floyd Murl and Ruby Ellen (Holliday) Benefield, she married Jerry Merritt on April 22, 1959 in Cobden, IL.  He died August 9, 1994 in Pekin.  Also preceding her in death are her parents; one son, William Merritt on January 20, 1998 in Pekin and one brother, Carlis Ray Benefield.

Surviving are two sons, Jerry L. (Sherry) Merritt of Canton, Lonnie (Diana) Merritt of Mapleton; two daughters, Lori (Bob) Sea  and Sherry (David) Fulk, both of Pekin; ten grandchildren; nineteen great-grandchildren; four great great-grandchildren; four sisters, Alice McClanahan, Charlotte “Kay” Turner, Linda (Jerry) Agee and Rebecca Benefield, all of Pekin; her caregiver, Lisa Anderson; her special friend, Rick Donaldson; and her beloved pet dog, Reno “Beno” Merritt.

Wanda had been a member of Central Life Church in Pekin.

She had worked in the accounting department for Walmart in Pekin for 11 years, retiring in 2010.

A loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great great-grandmother. Wanda enjoyed cooking, fishing, crocheting, playing euchre and canning.  Her greatest joy though was being with her family.

A celebration of Wanda’s life will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, January 4, 2020 at Central Life Church, 1100 Hamilton Street, Pekin, IL.  Pastors Keith Moore and Darrell Garrett will officiate.  Arrangements have been entrusted to Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory in Pekin.

Memorial contributions may be given to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Midwest Affiliate, 530 NE Glen Oak Avenue, Peoria, IL 61637 or to Tazewell Animal Protective Society, 100 Taps Lane, Pekin, IL 61554.

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