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.

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


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  • February 24, 2021
    Lela Koonce says:
    A testimony of a life well lived! So sorry for your loss.

  • February 24, 2021
    Sarah Dial says:
    We will surely miss paw paw being at church and family gatherings. He never failed to make sure Michael and Ollen got their favorite piece of pound cake. I will always remember the story he would tell when he went to the grocery store and asked the young man working in that area “if those were hen eggs or rooster eggs?” he said the young man replied “I’m not sure I will go find out” he said he chuckled and told him not to worry about it.

  • February 24, 2021
    Janet Hedrick says:
    I will always remember this fine man since my childhood when we would visit the church behind Cobles' Funeral Home and then later the Pentecostals of Wilmington Church. What a kind and loving man he was. He and his wife always made us feel so welcome. Thank God for his life.

  • February 24, 2021
    Sharon Alford says:
    We are truly sorry for your loss. I would like to offer you and your family our deepest and most sincere condolences to you and your family. May our friendship and prayers ease you through this difficult time. You are truly loved. Sharon, George and Kadin

  • February 23, 2021
    Marcia and Jeff Woodcock says:
    Continued Prayers for you and your family during this difficult time and know Mr Merritt was a loving Soul and nailed it on his baking , condolences to your family and God Bless !