Mrs. Christine Elizabeth Merritt Stephens, age 76, of Clermont, Ga., passed away, April 4, 2014, following a sudden illness at Northeast Georgia Medical Center.
Christine was born on Dec. 21, 1937, in Cleveland, Ga., and was the daughter of the late Lewis Reynold Merritt and Maude Freeman Merritt. She graduated from Truett-McConnell College and worked for the U.S. Forestry Service and the Social Security Administration, in addition to being a loving wife and mom. She enjoyed gardening, traveling, cooking, and was an excellent seamstress. She was involved with the Historic Preservation Society of Clermont and was an active member of the First Baptist Church and the T. Richard Davis Sunday school class. She was preceded in death by her brother, Lewis R. Merritt; brother and sister-in-law, Bill and Vernell Merritt; sister and brother-in-law, Lucille and Odell Warwick, sister and brother-in-law, Mary Ruth and Herbert Allen; and brother, Paul Merritt of Sautee.
Christine is survived by her husband of 53 years, James Donald Stephens of Clermont; son, Michael James Stephens of Douglasville; daughter and son-in-law, Beth and Hughes Walmsley of Gainesville; beloved grandson, Alex Walmsley; sister-in-law, Jenny Merritt of Sautee; and many treasured nieces and nephews.
Christine had a compassionate heart for everyone, especially the elderly. Her spirit will truly be missed by those who knew and loved her. A special thank you to the emergency room staff, ICU unit and EMTs for their kindness and compassion during this difficult time.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, April 7, 2014, at Memorial Park North Riverside Chapel with interment to follow at Gateway Memorial Park Cemetery in Cleveland, Ga. Dr. Bill Coates and the Rev. Bruce Fields will officiate. The family will receive friends from 2 to 4 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday, April 6, 2014, at the funeral home.
The family has requested that for those who desire in lieu of flowers donations be made in her memory to First Baptist Church of Gainesville, 751 Green St., Gainesville, GA 30501.
Memorial Park North Riverside Chapel, 989 Riverside Drive, Gainesville, GA, 770-297-6200. Online condolences may be expressed at www.memorialparkfuneralhomes.com.