Herndon Long Merritt

October 16, 1930 - February 22, 2021
Herndon Long Merritt

Herndon Long “Pitt” Merritt Jr. , age 90, of Currie, NC, passed away  peacefully at his home on Monday, February 22, 2021 after several months of declining health.

He was born and raised in Sampson County, NC on October 16th, 1930 to the late Herndon L. and Katie Merritt. In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his brothers, T.C. Merritt and Dewey Merritt and sisters, Rebecca M. Porter and Rachel M. Williamson. After graduating from High School, Herndon took pride in serving his country in the United States Army. He was a faithful member of the Pentecostals of Wilmington Church. His family knew him as kind and gentle. A true Christian who prayed, read his Bible daily and enjoyed singing his favorite Hymns. Herndon was self-employed and a business owner for the majority of his working career, founder of Merritt’s Grocery in Wilmington, Midway Grill in Wrightsboro and he retired from Merritt’s Ice Company in Castle Hayne.

After retirement, Herndon continued baking his signature “Pound Cakes & Pies”, so very delicious and well known from the “East coast to the West coast”. He will truly be missed by all who knew him.

Herndon is survived by the love of his life, his wife of 64 years, Etta Marie Merritt; and three children: Cynthia Merritt Morris and husband, Floyd, of Currie, NC, Keith R. Merritt and wife, Susan, of Durham, NC, and Tim L. Merritt and wife, Tina, of Rocky Point, NC. Grandchildren, Emily Burch and husband, Shawn, Patrick Merritt and wife, Taylor, Katherine Wright, Taylor Merritt and Trenton Merritt. Great grandchildren, Landon Burch and McKinley Burch. Brothers, Edwin T. Merritt and wife Brenda, of Wallace, NC, Billy Ray Merritt and wife Katherine, of Reidsville, NC, Alton G. Merritt and wife Penny, of Carlsbad, CA. One sister-in-law, Jean Merritt of Clinton, NC and one brother-in-law, Wiley Williamson of Goldsboro, NC, and many nieces, nephews and good friends he loved very much.

Herndon was a devoted husband, a loving father and “Paw Paw”. He enjoyed spending time with his family, who were the most important part of his life.

The Merritt Family would like to extend their gratitude to Dr. Jeffrey Warhaftig and the nurses and staff of NHMC for their care of Herndon for many years, and also, to The Lower Cape Fear Hospice for their excellent care of Herndon in the final days of his life.

The funeral service will be held at The Pentecostals of Wilmington, 3615 Chippenham Dr., Wilmington NC, 1:00 PM Friday February 26, 2021 with Pastor Floyd Morris, officiating. Due to Covid-19, social distancing and masks will be required. He will be buried on the family farm in Pender County.

In honor of Herndon’s love for the work of God, memorial contributions may be made to The Pentecostals of Wilmington, 3615 Chippenham Drive, Wilmington, NC 28412.

Share memories and condolences with the family by clicking on the “Condolence” tab below.

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation 1535 S. 41st Street, Wilmington, NC 28403


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  • February 23, 2021
    Sara (Raynor) Dodgens says:
    Marie, Cynthia, Keith, and Tim, I know you will miss him terribly. I'm so sorry for the pain of losing him. You all are such a sweet family, and he was such a sweet man! I still have fond memories of living next door to you in Castle Hayne.

  • March 02, 2021
    Sharon Johnson says:
    I didn’t know Bro Merritt as some did but I can say that what I knew of him was a Godly man who loved his family and the church . He sure could make an awesome pound cake too!! My prayers are with the family and friends . He will truly be missed .

  • February 28, 2021
    Vickey Ridgeway lit a candle:
    Lit since February 28, 2021 at 2:52:41 PM

  • February 27, 2021
    Rollie and Radica Bahmer says:
    Our deepest condolences to to each and everyone of his family, I only met him a couple times but he was a wonderful person.

  • February 24, 2021
    Ray Spencer says:
    Marie, Cynthia, Kieth and Tim, Most precious memories of a time long past, but not forgotten. I am so blessed to have the opportunity to know each of you, and to have been mentored at such a young age by Pitt. He gave a young boy of 12 his first job at Merritt's Grocery and kindled a friendship and respect between us that lasts today. I learned so much from Pitt; from his sharp and quick humor, to his deep sense of faith and family. When Marie would bring the kids to the grocery store it was a time of smiles and laughter. I will continue to remember those fun times, to remember Pitt and treasure well the lessons he taught me about family, life and people. God's blessings and peace to each of you. Ray Spencer