Mr. Ralph Merchant, age 82, of Bonifay, Florida passed away March 2, 2017 at his home. He was born November 17, 1934 in Ponce de Leon, Florida to the late Buddy Marvin and Minnie Frances Jackson Merchant. In addition to his parents, Ralph was preceded in death by one brother, James Merchant.
He grew up in Holmes County and married Jone Ellis Merchant on October 21, 1955. They settled in Caryville, Florida for approximately 40 years before moving to Bonifay. Ralph pastored churches in Holmes, Washington and Walton counties while also serving as a rural mail carrier.
Ralph is survived by his wife of 61 years, Jone Merchant of Bonifay, FL; one son, Monty Merchant and wife Lisa of Ponce de Leon, FL; one daughter, Leita Holland of Greenville, SC; two grandsons, Erik Merchant of Kenansville, FL and Ethan Merchant of Ponce de Leon, FL; two sisters, Mary Kathryn Paul of Ponce de Leon, FL and Frances Harrison and husband Ronald of Bonifay, FL; one sister-in-law, Betty Merchant of Ponce de Leon, FL; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 PM Monday, March 6, 2017, in the Peel Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. B. Longo, Rev. Tommy White and Rev. Tim Hall officiating. Interment will follow in the New Ponce de Leon Cemetery with Peel Funeral Home directing. The family will receive friends from 5-7 PM Sunday at Peel Funeral Home.
Memorial donations may be given to Emerald Coast Hospice, 1330 South Blvd., Chipley, FL 32428 or any organization of your choice.
Serving as pallbearers will be his nephews, Jack Paul, Barry Paul, Shelly Harrison, Shawn Harrison, David Merchant, Tim Merchant and his great-nephews. Honorary pallbearers will be: Hill Bryant, Dan Hatcher, J.C. Reynolds, Frank Williams, Bobby Bryant, Marlin Register and Buster Hewitt.