Ralph Junior Merrell, 57, of Hawkins Drive, Morganton, NC, died Sunday, August 24, 2008 at Grace Hospital following a period of declining health. Born in Burke County, NC on October 29, 1950, he was the son of the late Ralph Pearson Merrell and Gladys Miller Merrell. Ralph was a member of Mount Home Baptist Church. He retired from Great Lakes Carbon after thirty-seven years. He enjoyed hunting and fishing and drove a race car for eight years. He enjoyed going to shooting matches and restoring antique cars.A loving husband, father, and grandfather, Ralph is survived by his wife, Pamela Powell Merrell of the home; a daughter, Jennifer Merrell of Morganton; a grandson, Tyler Ralph Merrell; a brother, Larry Merrell and wife, Ruthie, of Morganton; and sisters, Vicki Whisnant, Teresa Jamison, and Donna Burnette, all of Morganton.The memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, August 27, 2008 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Rev. Jerry Gamble officiating. The family will receive friends Tuesday evening from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. at Sossoman Funeral Home. At other times the family will be at 300 Lenoir Street, Morganton. Memorial contributions may be made to South Mountain Children’s Home, 7330 Myrtle Drive, Nebo, NC 28761.

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