John H. Merrell Jr., 78, of Fletcher, passed away Friday, Dec. 9, 2005, in Park Ridge Hospital. A native of Buncombe County, he had lived in Henderson County for the past 27 years and was the son of the late John H. Merrell Sr. and Estelle Searcy Merrell and was the husband of the late Betty Plemmons Merrell who died in 2002. He was also preceded in death by daughter, Kathy Earwood; brothers and sisters, Willie Mae Penland, Ellard Merrell, Eleanor Carver, Kenneth Merrell, Woodfin Merrell, Barbara Smith and Larry Merrell. He was a member of East Chestnut Church of Christ. Survivors include his son, John Merrell III; two daughters, Sandra Taylor and Janey Flynn; brothers and sisters, Louise Lyda, Geraldine Duncan, Patricia Stoll, Richard Merrell, Frieda Lytle and Judith Kilpatrick; six grandchildren, Matthew Earwood, Michelle Weaver, Kimberly Rudder, Sean Merrell, Michael Flynn and Jennifer Taylor; four great-grandchildren, Bryanna Weaver, David Weaver, Conner Weaver and Faith Rudder; and several nieces and nephews. The graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Bethany United Methodist Church Cemetery with Mr. Martin Lytle officiating. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to American Diabetes, P.O. Box 2680, North Canton, Ohio 44720. Jackson Funeral Service is in charge of arrangements.