Claremore Daily Progress


February 5, 2014

Paul F. Merriott

CLAREMORE — A celebration of the life of Paul F. Merriott will be held 1 p.m., Friday, Feb. 7, at First Presbyterian Church of Claremore. Visitation will be held at MMS-Payne Funeral Home & Cremation Service on Thursday from 1 to 7 p.m. Family will greet friends 5 to 7 p.m.

Paul died peacefully on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014.

Born in Lenapah, Oklahoma on Nov. 14, 1923 to parents Charles Sylvester Merriott and Mary Elizabeth Brown. They were true pioneers traveling from Missouri in covered wagons to Oklahoma where his father would own and operate the first stagecoach line for mail delivery and troop transportation. When Paul was a young boy the family relocated to Chelsea, Oklahoma where he milked cows daily on their dairy farm.

Paul attended Chelsea Public Schools where he met his future wife Alice Lee Watson. He was an outstanding athlete and also worked at R.W. Benjamin Funeral Home which led to his lifetime career. After graduation in 1942 Paul joined the United States Coast Guard to serve in World War II after his marriage to Alice.

He and Alice moved to St. Louis after the war where he attended St. Louis School of Mortuary Science. After completion of school he returned to R.W. Benjamin Funeral Home as a licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer. In 1958 he purchased the Chelsea Funeral Home which he owned and operated until 1977.

Paul was a member of the First Christian Church of Chelsea, a lifetime member of The American Legion, fifty year member of the Chelsea Masonic Lodge, past President and active in the Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, organized and worked in the Chelsea Public School Booster Club and a lifetime member of the Chelsea Roundup Club.

In 1970 he purchased Musgrove Funeral Service with his daughter and son-in-law. He and Alice moved to Claremore where he became immersed in the community and the First Presbyterian Church.

Paul was proud of his fifty year career and was instrumental in mentoring young men entering the business. One of Paul’s favorite sayings was “Find something you like to do, learn to do it well, and put down roots in your community.”

Friends and family were important in his life. On any Friday night you might see Paul, Monk Hall, Max Milner, Don Hill, Richard Lundy and the late Gale Welch loading up to go out to eat, watch a high school sporting event and share stories.

Paul is preceded in death by his wife, Alice Lee and ten siblings.

Survivors include Cindy and Jim Smith, Claremore, Oklahoma, Paula and Scott Williams, Flagstaff, Arizona and Stephanie and Alan White, Wilmington, NC;  seven grandchildren, Amy Paiva, Clint Smith, Whitney Vettraino, Erin Barriger, Wesley Williams, Allison and Lauren White;  nine great-grandchildren, and a host of nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Chelsea Alumni Association, P.O. Box 391, Chelsea, OK  74016.

Leave your memories of Paul and view his tribute online at

Text Only
  • Lois Whorton

    Services for Lois Whorton will be 2 p.m., Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at MMS-Payne Funeral Home Chapel; burial will follow in Woodlawn Cemetery. Friends may visit at the funeral home on Tuesday, April 15, from 1-8 p.m. with family receiving visitors from 5-8 p.m.

    April 15, 2014

  • Jean Noreen Young

    Jean Noreen Young was born in 1938 in Defiance County, Ohio.
    She is the daughter of Fred and Ida Cook Birchmeier. She spent her early life traveling, as her dad worked on the pipeline construction projects. She was in the 4th grade when her family bought a farm in Emporia, Kan.

    April 15, 2014

  • Kenneth Wayne DeLozier, Sr.

    A celebration of the life of Kenneth Wayne DeLozier, Sr., will be 10 a.m., Wed., April 16, 2014 at First Baptist Church in Chelsea. Burial, with military honors, will follow at Chelsea Cemetery under the direction of Rice Funeral Service. Visitation will be Monday from 1-5 p.m. at the funeral home.

    April 12, 2014

  • Betty Whitfield

    Graveside service for Betty Whitfield will be 2:00p.m., Monday, April 14, 2014 at Oakhaven Memorial Gardens, under the direction of MMS-Payne Funeral Home & Cremation Service.  Bro. Sam Nichols will officiate.  Visitation will be Sunday, April 13, from 4—6.  Betty passed away on Friday, April 11, 2014 at the age of 84.

    April 12, 2014

  • James “Jimmy” Doolittle

    Memorial service  for James “Jimmy”  Doolittle will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, April 12, 2014 at the Chelsea High School Gymnasium.

    April 11, 2014

  • Johnny G. McClure

    Graveside service for Johnny G. McClure will be 10:30a.m., Saturday, April 12, 2014 at Chelsea Cemetery, under the direction of Chelsea Funeral Home and Cremation Service. Friends may visit at the funeral home on Friday, April 11, from 4-6 p.m.  Johnny passed away on Monday, April 7, 2014, at the age of 71.

    April 11, 2014

  • George Daniels

    A celebration of the life of George Daniels will be today, at 2 p.m., at Rehoboth Baptist Church.

    April 9, 2014

  • Marion “Buddy” Robertson, Sr.

    A mass of Christian burial for Marion “Buddy” Robertson, Sr. will be 9:30 a.m. Saturday, April 5, 2014 at St. Cecilia Catholic Church with Father Paul Eichoff officiating.  Burial will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery under the direction of Rice Funeral Service.  Visitation will be Friday from 3-7 with a wake and prayer vigil at 5:00 p.m. in the Chapel of the Garden at Rice Funeral Service.   Family will receive visitors at the conclusion of the prayer service.

    April 4, 2014

  • Mary Nell Gray

    Memorial service for Mary Nell Gray (Gilbert-Overstreet) will be 1 p.m., Fri., April 4, at the MMS-Payne Funeral Home Chapel with Chaplain Lonnie Sanders officiating.

    April 4, 2014

  • Donald Gene Dennis

    Memorial service for Donald Gene Dennis will be 11 a.m., Sat., April 5, at Eastern Hills Baptist Church. Services are under the direction of MMS-Payne Funeral Home & Cremation Service.
    Don passed away Friday, March 28, 2014, at his home at the age of 78.

    April 4, 2014