Gracie Erlene Craddock Merritt arrived to her heavenly home on March 2, 2023, at the Joan and Howard Woltz Hospice Center in Dobson, NC.
Erlene, as she was known until later years when she became Miss Gracie to her caregivers, was born on Oct 22, 1930, in Stokes County to Burnice Augusta Collins and Robert Peter Craddock.
Erlene was a graduate of Pinnacle High School, receiving the honor of valedictorian. She married her high school sweetheart, Clinard Merritt, in 1950. Working as a supervisor at Amos and Smith Hosiery for 30 years, she was known to many. As a devoted member of Brims Grove Baptist Church, she dedicated her life to being a positive Christian influence to others, whether teaching Sunday School, joining her WMU friends as treasurer, or faithfully attending services and events. In the community she enjoyed being an active member of the Pinnacle Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary and serving for many years as president of the Pinnacle Garden Club.
After retirement Erlene and Clinard enjoyed traveling, attending grandchildren’s sports events, joining friends for games of dominoes and bridge, or meeting at a favorite restaurant for breakfast. Erlene became an avid bridge player, participating in 3 clubs.
The “Queen Mother” was loved and will be missed by many.
Erlene was preceded in death by her devoted husband ,of almost 61 years, Clinard Merritt , and son inlaw Sherman Sheppard. Left to cherish and smile at the memories are her daughters, Vicki Sheppard of Pinnacle and Robin Mitchell (Mark) of Marks, MS. Grandchildren are William Sheppard (Christie) of Mt Airy, Peter Sheppard (Ashley) of Pinnacle, Dr. Merritt Tuttle (Mike) of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, Walter Tuttle (Katie) of Raleigh, and Spencer Tuttle(Kendell) of Raleigh. Great grandchildren are Anne Rachel Sheppard, William Pennson Sheppard II, Mamie Belle Sheppard, Collins Merritt Tuttle, Walter Hampton Tuttle, and Baby Girl Tuttle due in April. Also surviving are a loving sister, Kaye Threatt (Harold) of Winston Salem, and devoted brother, and best friend, RW Craddock (Edna Earl) of Pinnacle.
Erlene enjoyed the fellowship and care given her at Priddy Manor Assisted Living in King for about one year. God then sent special angels to care for her. Loving appreciation is given to Linda Brindle, Judy Collins, Tammy Card, and Alledia Hess. Special thanks also are given to Surry Community Healthcare and Woltz Hospice Center.
Funeral Services will be conducted Monday, March 6th, 2023, at 11:00am at Brim's Grove Baptist Church with Rev. Gerald Jones officiating. Interment will follow at the church cemetery. Visitation will take place at 10:00am prior to the service.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be given to Brims Grove Baptist Church Cemetery Fund in care of Mr. Alfred McCreary, 4019 NC 268 Hwy, Pilot Mountain, NC, 27041.
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