The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


August 26, 2013

Kathleen Merl

JOPLIN, Mo. — Phyllis "Kathleen" Merl, 71, of Joplin, Mo., passed peacefully into the arms of Jesus on Aug. 23, 2013, while at home surrounded by her loving family.

Kathleen was born Mar. 13, 1942, in Carthage, Mo., to the late Loren and Sarah "Jo" Hammond Hornback.

Kathleen graduated from Duenweg, Mo. High School in 1960 and just a few days after graduation she married her first husband Jack Pelt. Jack and Kathleen were married for 21 years and to their union four children were born. They all survive her.

In 1984, Kathleen married James Merl and they shared 29 beautiful years together. During their marriage, they enjoyed spending time with family and friends, and every weekend they watched movies together. Kathleen attended Duenweg Christian Church, she was very strong in her Christian faith and she enjoyed sharing the love of Jesus with everyone she met. She worked for Oxford Health Care for 17 years. Kathleen was a very loving and compassionate person. In her final days she would say, "I love you and I know you love me too. Thank you for your prayers and always remember that God knows best!" Her absolute faith in God and Jesus Christ never wavered.

Survivors include her husband, James Merl, of the home; her children, Kimberly Nieto, Cindy Walls Johnson, Brad Pelt and his wife, Marietta and Sheri Severs, and her step-son, Elvis Merl and wife, Pat; Kathleen was the "little sister" and she is survived by her siblings, Yvonne and DG Rowe, Patricia Spencer, Randall and Donna Hornback, Gayle and  Fred Wheat and Barbara Peek; She is also survived by her grandchildren, Anthony, Sebastian and Christina Nieto, Megan and Jesse Walls, Jacob and Ruby Pelt, Shayna Davis and Graycie Sexton; and step-granddaughter, Lindsay Merl; a great-grandson, Jason Davis; and many nieces, nephews and special friends.

Services will be held at 1 p.m Wednesday, Aug. 28, at Mason-Woodard Chapel with Chaplain Danny Mullins officiating. Burial will follow at Ozark Memorial Park Cemetery. Those honoring Kathleen's life by being pallbearers will be her son, Brad Pelt, grandsons, Anthony Nieto, Sebastian Nieto, Jacob Pelt and Jesse Walls and nephew, Randy Hornback. A visitation for family and friends will be held Tuesday, Aug. 27, from 6 to 7 p.m. at the mortuary.

Arrangements are under the direction of Mason-Woodard Mortuary & Crematory.

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