Velma B. Merritt, 89, Linn, KS, died Tuesday, September 24, 2013 at the Linn Community Nursing Home. A funeral service was at 10:30 a.m. at the United Methodist Church. Pastor Randy Jellison-Knock officiated. Sheila Ouellette played the organ. Burial was in the Washington City Cemetery. The pallbearers were Charles Ouellette, Michael Pfeffer, Scott Pfeffer, William Parks, Kristopher Wohler, Dylan Dittmer, Jordan Dietze and Evan Ouellette. The honorary pallbearers were David Ohlde, Denton Dittmer, Nicholas Hahn, Dawson Dittmer, Kaelan Dietze, Cole Schwartz, Noah Schwartz, Parker Pfeffer, Dylan Pfeffer, Reid Pfeffer, Ethan Jantz, Drew Pfeffer, Collin McQueen, Ian Pfeffer and Christian Dugger. Velma was born November 15, 1923, at Washington, KS, to Walter and Ethel (McCurry) Finlayson. In 1941, she graduated from Washington High School. Velma was the first female to show a steer at the Washington County Fair and won grand champion. On March 8, 1942, she married Charles W. Merritt at Reno, NV. Velma worked at an aircraft factory during World War II and as a candy striper for a children’s burn hospital in England. After Charles retirement from the Air Force, they returned to Washington County and farmed. Velma was a member of the United Methodist Church, United Methodist Women, Rainbow Girls, Eastern Star and American Legion Auxiliary. She belonged to Garfield Helping Hands Club, Ash Creek Unit, Retired Officers Wives Club and volunteered with Hospice. Velma’s first love was family. She enjoyed spending time with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was a regular bowler, liked to golf and play bridge. She also did quilting, sewing and cake decorating. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Charles on December 23, 1986; brothers, Ernest Finlayson, Delbert Finlayson, Glen Finlayson, Clifford Finlayson; and sister, Evelyn Pfeiffer. Survivors include her daughters, Joyce (Robert) Pfeffer, Reston, VA, Jean (Don) Moser, Washington, KS, Janice Ohlde, Wichita, KS, Joanne (Gary) Ouellette, Linn, KS; eleven grandchildren and thirty great-grandchildren. A memorial fund has been established in her name and will be designated by the family at a later time. Contributions may be sent in care of Ward Funeral Home, Washington.
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