Merle Farmer Pierce, widow of Rev. Rawls Pierce, passed away on Saturday morning July 29, 2017.
She was born on January 27, 1924 in the Extra community (Ashley County) and the daughter of Miriam McDuffie Farmer and Earnest Guy Farmer. She was one of six children, a sister, Violet Germany, and four brothers, Victor, Harold, John Alva, and Glynn.
In addition to her husband and parents, she was preceded in death by a daughter, Sandra Kaye Pierce; her sister, Violet; three brothers, Victor, Harold and John Alva; four sisters-in-law, Jolene Farmer, Maxine Farmer, Alyce Farmer and Donna Pierce; and three brothers-in-law, John Pierce, Jimmy Pierce and Thomas Pierce.
Mrs. Pierce started school at Crossett Camp before transferring to Hamburg Schools in the 3rd grade and then moved to Crossett in 1939 when the Crossett Paper Mill started up. She graduated in 1942 from Crossett High School as salutatorian. She attended Ouachita Baptist College and received her BS degree from NLU. She taught school one year in Anderson, Missouri, six years in Morehouse Parish, five years in Eagle River, Alaska and 15 years in Morehouse Parish School before retiring in 1989. She taught home economics, science and computer programming.
Mrs. Pierce married Rawls Pierce, a U.S. Navy veteran, in 1943. They were married for 68 years until his death in 2011. They had one daughter, Sandra Kaye, who died of a brain tumor when she was 12. Rawls Pierce was an ordained Southern Baptist minister, a graduate of Ouachita Baptist College and New Orleans Baptist Seminary. Merle was a faithful helpmate in all the churches he pastored, Chidester Baptist, New Hope Baptist in Jones, Louisiana, Anderson F.B.C. in Anderson, Missouri, Greenacres Baptist in Bastrop, Louisiana F.B.C in Eagle River, Alaska, and Pine Grove Baptist in Bastrop. They retired to Crossett in 1987 to their home church Mt. Olive, which had ordained Rawls in the 1950s. Merle commuted to Bastrop to teach until her retirement.
Funeral services will be held on July 31 at 10 a.m. at Mt. Olive Baptist Church. Visitation will be held at the church from 9 a.m. until 10 a.m. prior to the funeral. Interment will be at Memorial Park, north of Bastrop, Louisiana under the direction of Jones Funeral Home of Crossett.
Pallbearers are Brian Farmer, Lane Kelley, James White, Tim Adair, Ronnie Rodgers and Clyde Farmer. Honorary pallbearer is Phillip Kelley
Memorial may be made to the Lottie Moon Mission Offering in care of the Mt. Olive Baptist Church 1533 Highway 52 N Crossett, Arkansas 71635.