Margaret Elizabeth Louise Cullender "Mama" Merritt
April 22, 1922  -  July 27, 2018

Margaret Elizabeth Louise Cullender "Mama" Merritt

Terpening Son Mortuary
611 W. Grand Ave.
Artesia, NM  88210
Friday, August 3, 2018
3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Map & Directions  Map & Directions

Memorial Service
Pinon Church of Christ
Pinon, NM  88344
Saturday, August 4, 2018
11:00 a.m.

New Mexico Children's Home
1356 NM 236
Portales, NM  88130
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Memorial service is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. Saturday, August 4, at the Pinon Church of Christ for Margaret E. Merritt of Pinon, N.M.

Mrs. Merritt died Friday, July 27, 2018 in Lubbock, Texas.

Sonny Guild will officiate at the services.

Visitation will be from 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Friday, August 3, at Terpening & Son Mortuary.

After 5 1/2 months on Hospice care, MAMA, Margaret Elizabeth Louise Cullender Merritt, passed over to see her twin girls and Husband. Mama has been a widow for 23 years. Jeff her grandson who is the local medical doctor in the family, coordinated her medical care. Ann and Dub nurtured and honored Mother every day she lived in their home.

She was born in Roswell, April 22,1922 which later in her life was designated as Earth Day. The irony in that designation was that Margaret was a STEWARD of the land long before it was popular. As children on a ranch with a well that pumped a gallon a minute, we never wasted water, resources, or time. Wash (laundry) water was used sparingly, whites first, ending with the most soiled blue jeans for the last load because they were already stained. The "soupy soapy" water was then poured over the grass and trees close to the house or in the garden if one was in season. Aluminum foil was saved and ironed to use again. Glass canning jars were used year after year. When electricity came to the ranch, a freezer was purchased and heavy-duty plastic freezer bags were used multiple times as well.

Education was THE goal for her children following their dedication to Christ. Hilton, Jane and Ann began school in the Pinon "one room" school. When it closed, Mama and kids moved to Hope to continue their education. "Moving to Hope" meant renting a house in Hope where the family stayed Monday through Friday. At 4 PM Friday the Merritt group climbed into the car and drove back to the ranch for 2 hard days of work to make up for being gone. Sunday services in Pinon were never missed, the family returned home from church to finish the chores. At 4AM on Monday, the traveling part of the family repeated the trip to Hope to attend school. Then Hope School closed.... Mama and Daddy purchased a house in Artesia for the family to live in during the week. Mama got a job working in the Artesia School cafeterias because they had the same hours and days as her children. Daddy said if Artesia closed their school, we kids were just out of luck!! The night Leah graduated from High School, the house was sold and Mama returned to the ranch to live. We figure Mama drove one million miles educating all 4children. The children accumulated four PhDs, One MD, One DO, a lawyer, an engineer, multiple Master degrees, bankers, computer nerds, teachers of every level of education, administrators and other degrees. Mama saw her goal realized.

Friday, July 27, 2018 she woke up, chose her clothing for the day, color-coordinated with her white blingy hat that matched the buttons on her sweater, sipped some breakfast broth at the dining table with the family, requested to be helped into her recliner, She napped till noon, awoke when the grands came to talk with her. She recognized Hilton and Avanell who arrived from Houston. Lunch was a few sips of broth, then she told Leah she preferred homemade bread and butter to the thin, salty broth.

Margaret is survived by Hilton and wife Avanell and his girls, Leila and husband Charles Sewell, Keri and husband Scott Gardner, and Rebecca and husband Brad Jay; Jane and husband Jimmy Murray and children Jamey, Jodie and husband Paul Burns, and Jon and wife Samantha; Ann and husband Dub Hannel and Sarah and husband James Nichols ,Jeff and wife Lorena, Joe and wife Roxanne, and Amy and husband Jerrid Sanders ;Leah and husband Larry Williams and Lucas and wife Caria and Lee and wife Rebecca. Margaret had 26 great grandchildren. Mama passed with a room full of her family singing her into heaven where we hope heaven has had rain to make the grass green, a few chickens to tend and lots and lots of homemade bread for Mama to enjoy. Mama entered heaven with sweet Alex's, 7 1/21 think, "I love you GiGili" ringing in her ears.

In lieu of flowers Margaret will be honored if contributions could be sent to New Mexico Children's Home, 1356 NM 236 Portales, NM 88130, for care of children or for the single mother program where young women educate themselves in order to provide for their children.


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  1. Patsy Baker Scrimshire
    Artesia, NM

    As a childhood friend of Leah, I visited the ranch which was extraordinary for a young girl. I was around the Merritt family and Leah as we worked on 4-H projects. Mrs. Merritt was a great teacher. I respected her tremendously. Leah I have very fond memories of our friendship and your mother. I know she will be greatly missed, but she leaves a treasure full of memories. God bless you and your family. You are in my heart and prayers!

  2. Judith Mills Wong
    Honolulu, HI

    Dear Leah,
    So sorry to hear of your loss. It is always hard to lose someone we love so much. My thoughts are with you and all the family. May God keep you close in your time of grief. Judith

  3. Vicki Lee (Clem) Shaw
    Frisco, TX

    Mrs. Merritt always amazed me. I don't think she ever stopped. When Leah and I were in school together, I would look at the life Mrs. Merritt led of working in the schools and then going to the ranch to work more. When I got to go to the ranch with Leah on the weekends, her mom was constantly on the go. Then I realized, everything she did was in service to her family, friends or anyone who needed something. Those were some hardworking servants hands she had. Such a blessing to have known her.

  4. Patsy Young Dockery Cochran
    Fayetteville, AR

    I have so much respect and such good memories of Margaret and her family. I got to spend a weekend in Pinon when I was about 13. Special time.

  5. Pat Jones Johnson
    Santa Teresa, NM

    Never forget The Merritt's. So many fun times at the ranch.
    Wilbur & I received a unique wedding gift. I was to go to her home in Artesia to learn how to make cinnamon rolls. Then after doing them 2 times I went home with the pan & all of the fixings. What a wonderful caring Christian women!

  6. Dotty & Junior Hammack and boys
    Willow, AK

    So sorry to hear of your loss but Margaret had a strong religious belief and therefore she is where she wanted to be at this time and led a good life and produced many wonderful children.

  7. Wilma & Wesley Lane
    Albuquerque, NM

    Margaret and Don Merritt were great people and much a part of the Young family both at Hope and Pinon. We were all fortunate to have had them as part of our lives. Love to all of you.

  8. jim runyan
    Goldthwaite, TX

    Well, well, I'm PROUD for her she and my mother (Rachel Runyan) are discussing things again like they used to when they were both still on they're ranches. I always admired her toughness and gentleness; both hard to find qualities together!!!! Last time I saw here was in the middle of the road in front of the post office in Pinon. We both had a great visit, as always. What great memories her family will have to share, always.

  9. Gary & Linda Lunsford
    Pinon, NM

    Love & Prayers

  10. Bryan Prather
    Pinon, NM

    Don & Margart were always good to me
    God Bless them & the family

  11. Ken Ingram
    Artesia, NM

    I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your Mom. I used to enjoy reading her newspaper column in the Artesia paper. Please know that we send our thoughts and prayers.

    Ken & Delma Ingram

  12. Donna Gray
    Midland, TX

    May God send His rainbows to surround you all for comfort .

    Donna Gray

  13. Carolyn Moore Woolcott
    Albuquerque, NM

    What a wonderful tribute!

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