Obituaries » Kerry Denise Merritt
Kerry Denise Merritt, 52, of Lynchburg, Virginia passed away peacefully in her home on Saturday, July 2, 2022, after a relatively short battle with undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma. She was the loving wife of Brian C. Greene. Brian and Kerry married in December 2020, but they had more than twenty years together being partners in love, life, and adventure.
Kerry was born on September 14, 1969, in Atlanta, Georgia. She was the oldest of three daughters of Fred Edmond Merritt of Isle of Palms, South Carolina and the late Orrie Jane Parker Merritt of Columbia, South Carolina. In addition to her husband and father, Kerry was survived by her two sisters Kara Merritt (husband Josh Hiebert) of Florissant, Colorado and Kristin Merritt (husband Tom Crowell) of Mountain City, Georgia. Kerry is also survived by Darwin, Carson, and Patton, who are the remaining members of her fur family.
Kerry graduated with honors from Lakeview Centennial High School in 1987 and then attended the University of Texas as well as Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute before eventually graduating from Clemson University with a Textile Chemistry Degree (Bachelor of Science) in 1993. After graduation, she secured her first job with Burlington Industries in Clarksville, Virginia. She worked there for a number of years before setting off to explore the world on her own in a trek that lasted close to a full year. After her explorations, she then continued her career with Burlington Industries in Alta Vista, Virginia, where she met Brian and they began dating in 2000. At this point, Burlington Industries was being offshored and Kerry found herself in a different job as a Quality Assurance Chemist, which required her to assess potency and purity of pharmaceutical generics with Barr Labs. Barr Labs was later purchased by Teva, and Kerry eventually helped close down the site due to global economic pressures in 2020. She was only able to enjoy a few months of retirement before being diagnosed with sarcoma the following year.
Kerry was typically a very private and quiet individual, but those who knew her well definitely understood her quirky and introverted nature. She was often a very serious person but did have her fun eccentricities and unusual sense of humor. She was full of life and had many interests and aspirations, but her short time in this world did not allow her to complete many of her dreams and ambitions. She had so many future plans that would never be realized, but she was still able to live a full and eventful life surrounded by many friends and family who loved and cherished her. She likely never realized how much she positively affected people with her spirit, determination, intelligence, and unique view of the world. Her ability to find laughter and humor through her own distinctive perspective gave others a view into her world in the most unexpected ways. Most people have probably never met or known anyone quite like Kerry.
She especially enjoyed spending quiet time at home with her kitties Darwin, Carson, and Patton. Three of her other kitties (Tesla, Allie, and George) sadly passed away fairly recently from various underlying health issues. Kerry’s feline family gave her great comfort and support during her illness, and they all often spent many hours watching classical movies together. Kerry definitely preferred the old classics to many newer movies and shows. Kerry was also entertained by most anything science fiction (including Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek, The Expanse) and this was something she and Brian really had in common. One of her other favorite shows was Young Sheldon and she watched this humorous series repeatedly because it was always good for a laugh, even during the most difficult times!
Kerry possessed numerous interests and she never stopped wanting to learn and expand her knowledge (she was always thinking and contemplating something in her mind) by reading multiple books on a variety of subjects, watching historical documentaries and podcasts, as well as researching different political and environmental topics. She was very interested in philosophy and often contemplated human nature and the human condition. Two of her favorite books were Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Playing Pygmalian, among many others. She was especially captivated by the biography of George S. Patton. She often spoke of Patton’s incredible life, and she obviously had some unknown connection to this larger than life character because of her fascination with him.
Besides enjoying local and world history, Kerry really took a special interest in her own family ancestral history. She kept detailed records of the Merritt and Parker family lines, often tracing the family lineage for hundreds of years. Kerry’s immediate family was very grateful that she took the time to research the many relatives and ancestors and was diligent in tracking and explaining the family’s evolution through time.
While quiet and unassuming, Kerry would surprise you with some of the crazy and spontaneous adventures in her life. During her time traveling the world, she explored Australia (scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef), New Zealand, Thailand, and India among other countries. She also once did a tandem parachute jump out of an airplane in Hawaii and biked down Crested Butte in Colorado. After moving to Virginia, she spent many hours mountain biking with Brian on the trails in Virginia as well as hiking and kayaking in different places. Her interests in the great outdoors are what connected her to Brian. Eventually Kerry determined that Brian was the one person with whom she wanted to spend her life. Kerry absolutely loved everything “Lego” and building Lego characters and structures was often one of her main creative outlets.
She was involved in some community organizations and charities but especially delighted in giving back to the local underprivileged children and families during the holidays. Kerry never had children of her own (by choice) but she did have a special place in her heart for those disadvantaged children in her community.
Some of Kerry’s Favorite Quotes:
The universe is under no obligation to make sense to you.
-Neil DeGrasse Tyson
All things are transitory.
Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.
You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.
As you walk and eat and travel, be where you are. Otherwise, you will miss most of your life.
The only constant in life is change.
A memorial service for Kerry Merritt will be held at a later date both locally and in Isle of Palms, SC.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making memorial contributions to either the Sarcoma Alliance or the Lynchburg Humane Society.
Tharp Funeral Home and Crematory in Lynchburg is assisting the family.
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