Emma Lou "Ray" Merritt, was born on August 9, 1935, to the late Monroe and Sara Pruitt Ferguson in Jasper, AL. She moved to Amory, MS at a young age. Emma accepted Christ at an early age and was a member of Chism Chapel Church in Amory, Ms. She was united in holy matrimony to Joe Willie Merritt in 1963. Emma moved to Chicago, IL in 1964. She began her lifelong career in the medical field where she was employed by Mercy Rehabilitation Center for 40 years. Emma enjoyed traveling, shopping and keeping up with the latest fashion. She always dressed to impress. Emma had a kind heart and a very sweet spirit. She loved spending time with her family and friends. Her health began to fail in 2019, she moved back to Amory with her daughter, Linda Stallings which was her primary caregiver along with her sons, Xavier and Johnnie. On January 14, 2022, Emma departed this life at her daughter*s home. Emma leaves to cherish her precious memories, her son Robert (Harriett) McMath of Ford Heights, IL; daughter Linda Stallings of Amory, MS; twenty grandchildren: Xavier McMath of Amory MS, Johnette (Eundra) Wiley of Cordova, TN, James Stallings, Johnnie Stallings, Jasmine Stallings, Jamica (Tyrone) James of Amory MS, Jamara (Datron) Gillon of Olive Branch, MS, Latesha Franks of Chicago, IL, Cynthia (James) Morgan of Munice, IN, Carvetro Hogan of Ford Heights, IL, Sharonda (Kerry) Holmes of St. Louis, MO, Robert (Dorsheema) McMath and Michael McMath of Houston, TX, Chiquita (Oshane) Bailey of Orlando, FL, Darryl Lloyd of FL, Angela Waller and Carlene Harris of IL; two brothers, Robert Buckingham and Booker Buckingham of Gary, IN; and a host of great grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Monroe and Sara Ferguson; her husband, Joe Willie Merritt; a daughter, Olivia Franks; two sisters, Lillie Ferguson and Pearlie Morgan and three brothers, James, Ervie, Frank Buckingham. A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, January 22, 2022, at Susie L. Darden Memorial Chapel, with pastor Melvin Morgan, officiating. Burial will follow in the United Memorial Cemetery. Visitation will be Friday, January 21, 2022, from 1:00 until 3:00 pm and family hour from 3:00 until 4:00 pm.

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