Mary Lois Raines Garrett Merrill of London community in Castleberry, Alabama passed away February 15, 2019 at the age of 93.
Lois was born February 22, 1925 in Conecuh County, Alabama. She was the oldest daughter of Hannis and Agnes Raines.
She preferred the outdoors to the indoors. She enjoyed raising her own vegetables which kept multiple freezers well stocked and nooks and crannies everywhere filled with Mason jars of canned tomatoes, green beans, jellies and preserves.
Lois was a faithful member of London Baptist Church for over 70 years. She was involved in WMU, singing in the choir, and teaching VBS and discipleship training. She served on the benevolence committee where she personally wrote hundreds of get-well and sympathy cards to church members. She was well-known for her country-style cooking. Her greatest ministry was delivering her delicious chicken and dumplings to anyone in the community who was sick or in need. You knew you were loved when she showed up with a pot of her dumplings!
Lois was known to her grandchildren as Grandma Lois, GranGran and Granny. She delighted in each of her grandchildren and great grandchildren and thoroughly enjoyed spending time with them. Special memories with her include walks on “Dead Man’s Trail,” her first trip to the beach, “baptizing” the grandchildren in the Brewton pool, eating special foods and treats like her homemade apple tarts, making mud pies in the backyard, shelling peas and beans on the back porch, listening to her recite the poem “Spring Wish” by John Farrar which she memorized in the second grade, and making peanut brittle with her great grandchildren.
She had a joyful spirit no matter the circumstances or the humidity. She was always humming or singing hymns while cooking and working. She loved cooking for her family or for whomever happened to drop in at mealtimes. You were guaranteed a delicious meal and a glass of strong sweet tea. She was a generous and loving friend who gave countless Toni or Lilt home perms and loved to bless others with bargains she found.
While a resident of Evergreen nursing home, the staff would frequently ask Mary Lois to pray for her fellow residents as well as for their own needs. Dementia took many things from her, but could not touch her love for her Savior, Jesus Christ.
Preceded in death by her first husband James Henry Garrett, Jr. her second husband Joseph Merrill, son Robert Garrett and siblings Lawrence Raines, Hannis Raines, Jr., John Raines, Clara Raines Perez, Leon Raines and three precious granddaughters Amy, Kelly, and Hannah Pettis.
She is survived by her brothers Harold and Horace (Carolyn) Raines, her children Beth (Pat) Brown of Wears Valley, TN, Gerald (Midge) Garrett of Castleberry, AL, Gayle (Tim) Kirksey of Castleberry, AL, Cheryl (Michael) Lanier of Castleberry, AL, her grandchildren, Crissy (Keith) Brown of Brewton, AL, Kerrie (Paul) Powell of Castleberry, AL, Bryan Garrett of Brewton, AL, Heather (Matt) Barham of Carrollton, GA, Melanie (Jay) Harrington of Warner Robins, GA, Miranda (Matt) Eppes of Fairfield, TX, Jennifer (Ed) Virden of Gordo, AL, Mark (Katie) Pettis of Castleberry, AL, Holly (Jason) Wyatt of East Brewton of AL, TJ (Barbara) Kirksey of Castleberry, AL, Chris (Jenni) Lanier of San Luis Obispo, CA, Corey Lanier of Wilmington, NC, Will (Haley) Lanier of Warner Robins, GA, 23 great grandchildren, and 2 great-great grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held 11:00 am., Monday, February 18, 2019, at London Baptist Church with grandson, Bryan Garrett, officiating. Interment will follow in the London Baptist Cemetery. The family will receive friends one out prior to services at the church. Cope-Keahey Funerl Home is in charge of these arrangements.
Serving as pallbearers are grandsons and great grandsons, Corey Lanier, Will Lanier, Mark Pettis, Ethan Barham, Patten Barham, John Wesley Pettis, Emory Virden, Luke Barham and Alex Harrington.