Beverly Merritt, age 69 of Hot Springs, passed away September 1, 2018.
She was born on May 25, 1949, in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Jack Donald Farris and Betty King Farris, both of whom preceded her in death. On December 3, 2014, she married Dane Merritt.
She grew up in Eagle Rock, a small community in the greater Los Angeles area and moved to pursue challenges and opportunities in New York, Reno, L. A., Portland, Phoenix, and Dallas. A woman ahead of her time, she was a Commercial Construction Executive in the 70’s. When she went to her workplace, she shined with exuberance and a “get it done” attitude. She retired in 2012.
Bev became a Master Gardener in 2013 and became involved in several projects with the Master Gardeners’ work. She especially liked working with the youth program called, “Young Gardeners of Garland County.” Bev was a Docent with Garvan Woodland Gardens; she gave walking tours to visitors like the Road Scholars, educating garden patrons on its background and history. Bev was the Chair for the GEMS project, which improved the maintenance and planting program of Garvan Woodland Gardens. She also served as Secretary on the executive board for two years.
One of Bev’s most cherished works was for the Hot Springs Middle School Special Needs Class; she was directly responsible for designing and coordinating their gardening program. Bev and the children worked together to create, grow, harvest, and enjoy the fruits of their labor…the children were hands on and enjoyed, with Bev’s tutelage, the wonderful value of gardening.
Her brother Jack stated, “She always carried a warmth for others, had a quick wit and her laugh would win over even the most jaded person. She quickly made friends wherever she went.”
She was very passionate about animal welfare. She rescued many dogs, cats, rabbits, and any wildlife that needed her help over the years. Her love and nurture for her animals will be greatly missed by them.
She is survived by her husband Dane C. Merritt of Royal; her stepson and daughter-in-law, Alec J. “Jake” and Allison Merritt of Harlingen, Texas; her brother and sister-in-law, Jack and Sally Farris and her niece, Rebecca Farris, all of San Diego, California; other extended family members and a host of wonderful friends.
A celebration of her life will be held at 6:30PM, Monday, September 10, 2018, in the Garvan Woodland Gardens Pavilion.
In lieu of flowers and other customary condolences, memorials may be made to the Children’s Garden at Garvan Woodland Gardens.
Arrangements are under the direction of Davis-Smith Funeral Home, Hot Springs.