Mrs. Kay Merritt Willingham, age 50, of Shinbone Valley Community died Friday, October 30, 2009 at Redmond Regional Medical Center.
Mrs. Willingham was born September 29, 1959 in Chickamauga, GA, the daughter of the late
Lebron Cecil and Tharon Crowder Merritt. She was a member of the Elizabeth Lee United
Methodist Church in Chickamauga, GA. Mrs. Willingham was employed for 17 years at SyntheticIndustries as an I. T. Supervisor and worked for the past 5 years in the Optics Lab at Hays StatePrison.
 She was a member of the American Quarterhorse Association. She and her husband also owned and operated Shinbone Valley Quarter Horses. She graduated from Gordon Lee High School and Dalton College.
Other than her parents, she was preceded in death by a brother, Alan Lee Merritt.
Survivors include her husband, Gary Willingham, to whom she was married on December 21, 2001; step-daughter and husband, Angie and Tony White, Lyerly, GA; sister and brother-in-law, Carole and Mike Pinion, West Armuchee, GA; step-grandchildren, Emma White and Zach White; niece and husband, Erin and Chad Roberts; great nieces, Kenley Roberts and Presley Roberts.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p. m. Sunday, November 1, 2009 at the chapel of Mason Funeral Home with Rev. Todd Smith officiating. Burial will follow in Ami Cemetery.
Active pallbearers will be Ronald Merritt, Robert Merritt, Richard Norris, Jeff Mullis, Matthew Willingham, and Richard White. Honorary pallbearers will be the Ladies of GCI Optics Lab at Hayes State Prison.
Mrs. Willingham will be in state at Mason Funeral Home and the family will receive friends from4:00 until 8:00 p. m. on Saturday, October 31, 2009.
Mason Funeral Home is directing.