Obituary-Patricia Merritt

Patricia Joann Merritt, age 87 of Riley, Kansas, went to be with the Lord on December 21, 2023. 

She was born March 8, 1936, in St. Joseph, Missouri, to Phillip and Tommilou (Marshall) Sweeney.  Patti was the first of nine children.  The family moved frequently, coming to settle in Kansas City, Missouri.

Patti met and married Alvie Merritt in 1956.  Their marriage was blessed with two children, Terri Lynn and Cheryl Lee.  Their home was always open to those who needed it, and a parade of family and friends stayed with them, including Christijo Plemons, who still calls Patti mom. 

Besides being a mother and wife, Patti held various jobs.  She had a long career as a CNA and CMA, working locally at Leonardville Nursing Home and Meadowlark Hills. She was also employed at Kansas State University as custodial support at Call Hall and the Center for Child Development. Her last employment was with USD 383 as a bus monitor and staff support at Eugene Field Preschool, and she finally retired at age 83.

The center of her life was following Jesus.  This began as a child and continued to her entry into glory.   Patti served alongside her husband in many Southern Baptist churches in Sunday School, choir, prison ministry, mission trips, teaching about and praying for the work of missionaries.  After the passing of her husband in 2005, Patti, at age 72, left to serve for four years as a missionary with the International Mission Board in Ecuador. Patti loved to say that she left “with two suitcases and Jesus.”   This was the high point of her life, a world traveler telling people about Jesus.  She traveled to 5 continents and over 40 states praying, singing, teaching, and testifying of the love and saving power of Jesus.

Patti is survived by her two daughters, Terri Lynn (Billy) Wyrick and Cheryl Lee (David) VanBebber, all of Riley; two sisters, Linda (Joe) Cameron, Bonner Springs, Kansas, and Pamela Sweeney, Kansas City, Missouri; grandchildren, April, Billy Jr., Candice, David Jr., Frank, Hannah, Sarah, Cortney, Lauren, Brett and many others who call her “grandma”; 29 great-grandchildren, 4 great-great-grandchildren and dozens of nieces and nephews.

In addition to her husband, Alvie, she was preceded in death by two brothers, Frank and Gary; four sisters, Joyce, Phyllis, Carol and Vicky; one granddaughter, Ashley, and two stepchildren, Alvie Jr. and Ruth.

The family will receive friends from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, December 27, 2023, at the Anderes-Pfeifley Funeral Home.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00p.m. Thursday, December 28, 2023, at the Anderes-Pfeifley Funeral Home. A graveside service will be held 10:00 a.m. Friday, December 29, 2023, at the Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery.

Memorial Donations can be made to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering or the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering of the Southern Baptist Convention.  Contributions may be left in care of the Anderes-Pfeifley Funeral Home.

Condolences may be left for the family at

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