Laurie Ann (Walkowiak) Merritt, 51, a resident of Wyoming Street in the North End section of the city, passed into eternal life unexpectedly early Tuesday morning, April 15, 2014, as a victim of a house fire at her residence.
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Born Feb. 2, 1963, in Wilkes-Barre, she was the daughter of Joseph W. and Carol A. (Navola) Walkowiak who lived four doors away from her.
Educated in the city schools, Laurie was a member of the 1980 graduating Class of the James M. Coughlin High School, Wilkes-Barre. She attended St. Andre Bessette Parish of Northeast Wilkes-Barre, having previously attended the former St. Stanislaus Kostka Roman Catholic Church.
For the past 13 years, Laurie Ann worked as a mail carrier with the Wilkes-Barre office of the United States Postal Service. She became well known as a postal carrier, and made many friends and acquaintances along her various mail routes. She was also quite active with the Wilkes-Barre branch of the National Association of Letter Carriers Union.
Previously, she was employed by the Social Security Administration, Wilkes-Barre Data Operations Center, was a secretary with the Wilkes-Barre Area School District and prior to that, Laurie worked with the former First Eastern Bank of Wilkes-Barre. In her spare time, she also worked with her friends at Pizza Bella at their Main Street, Ashley location.
She is most remembered by family and friends for her wide and comforting smile, as being a "ray of sunshine" to all she came in contact with...even those she just had the privilege of meeting on her daily mail routes. She would always lend herself to those in need, putting their needs before her own. She was her family's "Angel on Earth" and will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved her.
Laurie Ann, in addition to her parents, leaves behind her beloved children at home, Kristin Lynn, and Michael J., currently a student in Wilkesboro, N.C.; former husband, Wilkes-Barre Councilman Michael A. Merritt, North Wilkes-Barre; brothers, Joseph Walkowiak and his companion, Debbie Audino, Margate City, N.J.; Jeffrey Walkowiak and his wife, Jessica, Hudson; sister, Deanna Herbinko and her husband, Michael, also of Wyoming Street; nieces and nephews including Sarah, Joseph III, Juliette, Cassandra, Michael, Nicholas and Connor; great-nephew, Evan; several aunts, uncles, cousins and numerous friends.
Relatives and friends may join Laurie's family for visitation and remembrances Easter Monday from 5 until 8 p.m. at the North Wilkes-Barre location of the John V. Morris Family Funeral Homes Inc., 625 N. Main St., Wilkes-Barre. Parking is made available next door in St. Andre Bessette's parking areas.
Concelebrated funeral services will be private and at the convenience of Laurie's family with the Rev. Kenneth M. Seegar, pastor, and the Rev. Monsignor John J. Sempa, pastor of Corpus Christi Parish, West Pittston, officiating.
Interment with Rites of Committal shall follow in the family lot of St. Stanislaus Kotska Roman Catholic Cemetery, Cemetery and Blanchard streets, Plains Township.
In lieu of floral tributes, memorial contributions will be accepted in Laurie's memory at the funeral home.
To send her family online words of comfort, consolation and hope at this time, please visit our family's website at www.JohnVMorrisFuneralHomes.com.
John V. Morris Funeral Home
625 N. Main Street
Wilkes Barre, PA 18705
Published in Citizens' Voice from Apr. 17 to Apr. 20, 2014