Independent Obituaries: May 8, 2019
The following obituaries appeared in the May 8, 2019 edition of the Star Valley Independent.
Jody Belinda Merritt was born December 20, 1957 to Larry and Janice Taylor in Spokane, Washington. As a child, her family moved around with their Heavy Equipment Operating business, which gave her the opportunity to live in Washington, Minnesota, Nevada, Idaho and Wyoming. During her elementary school years she lived in Ammon, Idaho, close to all her family. In the early ‘70’s her family moved to Star Valley, where her parents helped develop Star Valley Ranch, which is where they chose to make their forever home. Jody attended Star Valley High School where she met the love of her life and graduated in 1976. During the summers Jody gave horse trail rides. Anyone who knew Jody knew that horses were her lifelong passion. On May 18, 1980 Jody married Bradford H. Merritt and within the next ten years they had two daughters, Wendy and Kelsey. Jody devoted everything to her girls and loved them more than life itself.
During the raising of their daughters, Jody began working for the Special Education department at Thayne Elementary, and here is where she completed 24 years of service that brought pure joy in to her life. Judy truly loved her job and the constant interaction with the children and the wonderful people she worked with. When Jody became a grandma, there was no title more important to her. As the grandma to nine grandsons and one angel, she did everything with them and didn’t miss a moment in their lives! These boys were so blessed to have such a wonderful granny. Jody is survived by her husband Bradford Merritt,; daughters Wendy Kennedy (Michael) and Kelsey Wood (Brian); grandsons Hayden Kennedy, Jaxton Wood, Tallon Kennedy, Teagon Kennedy, Brantley Wood, Jordy Wood, Bridger Kennedy, Trapper Kennedy and Karston Wood; brothers Shane Taylor (Carrie) and J.P. Taylor (Tonya); three nephews and 12 great nieces and nephews. Jody was preceded in death by her parents Larry and Janice Taylor; grandparents Ralph and Percy Taylor and Elmer and Lois Tawzer; father-in-law LaMar Merritt and grandson Brenton Wood. Jody will be missed deeply by all who met her. Saturday, June 1, 2019 at the Thayne Town Picnic Shelter by the tennis courts, we will have a Celebration of Life for Jody. We would like to welcome anyone who loved, honored, respected and treated Jody as family to join us.