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
  • Jonathan Ashford “J.J.” Sluka

    Funeral service for Jonathan Ashford “J.J.” Sluka will be 2 p.m., Wednesday, July 23, at River of Life Assembly of God with Pastor Rodney Wilborn officiating. Burial with military honors by the U.S. Army will follow at Highland Cemetery under the direction of the Inola Funeral Home & Crematory.  Visitation will be held at the funeral home Tuesday, 1-8 p.m., and family will greet friends from 5-8 p.m.

    July 22, 2014

  • Doris Ann Chafin

    Funeral service for Doris Ann Chafin will be 10:30 a.m., Friday, July 18, at Verdigris Assembly of God with Brother Harold Brannon officiating. Burial will follow at Lone Elm Cemetery under the direction of MMS-Payne Funeral Home & Cremation Service. Visitation will be held Thursday 1-8 p.m., and family will greet friends 5-7 p.m.

    July 18, 2014

  • Patricia (Pat) D. Nickerson

    Graveside service for Patricia (Pat) D. Nickerson will be held 10 a.m. Friday, July 18, 2014 at Oakhaven Memorial Gardens in Claremore. Pallbearers will be Roy Rollins, Rob Rollins, Ron Rollins, Wayne Allen, Kelsey Wells, Angela Nowlin, Amber Holinsworth, and Maegan Gardner; and honorary pallbearer will be Rev. Joey Bentley. Visitation will be held on Thursday, from 1-8 p.m. with family greeting friends from 6-8 p.m.

    July 17, 2014

  • Jewel S. Starr

    Funeral service for Jewel S. Starr will be 1 p.m., Friday, July 18, at the MMS-Payne Funeral Home Chapel with Pastor Paul Simpson and Chaplain Bishop Bell officiating. Burial will follow at Wann Cemetery. Visitation will be held at the funeral home Thursday 1-8 p.m., and family will greet friends 6-8 p.m.

    July 17, 2014

  • Mildred Warden

    Mildred Warden was the mother of three and surrogate mother to hundreds.
    She operated one of Claremore’s first daycare for children. She died Friday, July 11, 2014 at the age of 86.

    July 15, 2014

  • Johnny Lee Fivecoats

     Services celebrating the life of Johnny Lee Fivecoats will be 3 p.m., Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at Memorial Heights Baptist Church, Claremore.  Burial will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery, under the direction of MMS-Payne Funeral Home. Friends may visit at the funeral home from 1-8pm on Tuesday, July 15, with family receiving visitors from 6-8 p.m.

    July 15, 2014

  • Jasper Leroy Ham

    Services for Jasper Leroy Ham will be 2 p.m., Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at MMS-Payne Funeral Home Chapel; burial will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery. Friends may visit at the funeral home on Monday, July 14 from 1-8 p.m.

    July 14, 2014

  • Austin Dermott “Derm” Cloud

    A celebration of life service with full military honors for Austin Dermott “Derm” Cloud will be 2 p.m., Monday, July 14, 2014 in the Chapel of the Garden at Rice Funeral Service. Visitation will be today from 1-5 at the funeral home. Derm passed away on Wednesday, July 9, 2014. He was 88.

    July 13, 2014

  • Charles Edward “Chuck” Griffin

    Memorial service for Charles Edward “Chuck” Griffin will be 11 a.m., Monday, July 14, at Eden Mennonite Church, Inola. Military honors will be presented by the U.S. Marine Corps.

    July 13, 2014

  • Eva Olive Hornbaker

    Private family services for Eva Olive Hornbaker will be Wednesday, July 16, 2014 in Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver, Colo. Eva passed away on Wednesday, July 9, 2014. She was 85.

    July 13, 2014


Do you prefer the warm summer weather of 2013 or the mild rainy weather we are currently experiencing?

Hot/Dry Summer
Mild/Wet Summer
I prefer any season but Summer.
I don't have an opinion.
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase