Open house planned for Janet Merritt’s 100th birthday

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Janet Mason Merritt turns 100 years old on Aug. 7. Her family and friends are invited to celebrate with her at an open house on July 18 at First United Methodist Church in Mount Sterling.

(Posted July 7, 2021)

By Theresa Hennis, Staff Writer

Janet Mason Merritt, a former resident of Mount Sterling, is turning 100 years old on Aug. 7. She will return to Mount Sterling from her home in Englewood, Fla., to celebrate with family and friends at an open house on July 18.

What makes reaching the 100-year mark significant for Merritt is not so much the many years she has lived, but instead, the life she created for herself and her family throughout those years.

Merritt was born on Aug. 7, 1921, and raised in Mount Sterling. She graduated from Mount Sterling High School in 1940 along with 28 others. She married Earl Merritt, and they had three children, Jerry Merritt of Delaware, Ohio, Joy Clarity of Dixon, Tenn., and Sue Neff, who passed away in 2011.

“Our mom was an All-American mom who stayed at home and gave us the best upbringing a child could ask for,” Jerry said.

Along with making a home and putting her heart into raising her family, Merritt has been a member and chief of the Pythian Sisters, a lifetime member of and historian for the American Legion Auxiliary, worked as a hospital aide at the Orient State Institute, and volunteered for Meals on Wheels. She was active at the YMCA in Englewood up until COVID-19 closed everything, and she looks forward to returning soon.

Merritt said she enjoys her time in an exercise group at the YMCA.

“I’m competitive in the group, and I like to work out. But I enjoy the social time, as well,” she said.

Merritt’s idea of a relaxing day is spending time at the beach. She goes at 11 a.m., lays her blanket down, reads a book, enjoys a candy bar and a banana, and leaves at 4 p.m.

Reading her Bible and going to church are of utmost importance to Merritt. Her favorite Bible verse is John 3:16.

“We’re so happy to have her in good health and for her to reach the century mark. She’s fiery and keeps herself up and about,” Jerry said.

Merritt loves her hometown of Mount Sterling and the people there. It’s fitting that she is returning to celebrate a good life where it all began.

Friends and family are invited to enjoy cake and ice cream between 2 and 4 p.m. July 18 at First United Methodist Church, 110 S. London St., Mount Sterling.

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