Cover photo for Janet Merlo's Obituary
Janet Merlo Profile Photo
1934 Janet 2022

Janet Merlo

March 20, 1934 — December 6, 2022



March 20, 1934 - December 6, 2022

Jan was born on March 20, 1934 to William R. Lush and Viola Soule Lush in Huntington, Long Island, New York, and passed into the loving arms of her Savior Jesus Christ on December 6, 2022.

Funeral services for Jan will be held at 10:00 AM, Tuesday, December 13, 2022 at Tabernacle Baptist Church, 115 W. 11th Street, Roswell, NM, with Pastor Michael Coffman officiating. Interment will follow at General Douglas L. McBride Veterans Cemetery in Roswell.

Mom met the love of her life, Joseph Stephen Merlo Sr., in Brentwood, Long Island, New York and were married on May 29, 1952. Shortly after their marriage, dad joined the Army and she and their children chased him all over the world, having lived in Germany three times, Okinawa and in the states of CA, AZ, CO, NY, NJ, NC, then finally retiring to Roswell, NM in 1973 after serving 20 years in the Army. What a great time we had being raised all over the world! We all feel we had the best childhood. Dad passed away in April 2017 after almost 65 years of marriage.

Mom had quite a life herself. She lived part of her first 7 years of her life with her Uncle and Aunt, "Daddy Tom" and "Momma Nettie". Daddy Tom owned a racetrack in Jamaica, Long Island. How she loved to be on that racetrack watching all the beautiful horses! When mom was about 13, she and her best friend worked in a vegetable stand. One day they were in the back washing the vegetables when they heard a deep, raspy voice and they started to laugh. A lady went to the back and asked the girls if they knew who that was who was talking. They both said no. The lady then proceeded to introduce them to none other than Babe Ruth. Turns out that lady was his personal nurse. She asked the girls if they wanted his autograph and of course they said yes! He wrote his autograph on brown paper sacks for each of them! We don't know what happened to that brown paper bag over the last 70 plus years! Moms favorite job was working as a telephone operator. She thought that was a lot of fun saying, "number please" all day long! On occasion her mom would call her at work just to say hi, she said she always got a kick out of that!

Mom was also quite an athlete in her day, from dancing, dancing on roller skates, being a pitcher and second baseman in a women's fast-pitch softball league and bowling. She always loved dancing but said dad was a terrible dancer! Mom started bowling as a teenager and bowled in leagues consistently up until two years ago. In 1974, mom and her teammates captured the Women's National Division One Bowling Championship in Houston, TX. They rolled a 2622 scratch series to take the title! She's always been proud of that as are we.

Mom and dad received the Lord as their personal Savior in 1977 and soon were both heavily involved in the bus ministry at Gateway Baptist Church for several years as the Bus Directors and then in the later 80's at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Roswell in that same capacity, until their health would no longer allow them. They ended up leading hundreds of children and their families to the Lord during that time. They loved the bus ministry more than anything. They loved to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Mom and dad also made a huge breakfast every Saturday morning for all the bus workers before they headed out to visit all the bus routes over the entire city of Roswell. They were quite the team together! Mom also worked with Cathy and Richard teaching the 3 year old Sunday School class at Tabernacle for 25 years. They simply loved kids!

Mom is survived by her four children, Debra Allen and her husband Tom, Cathy Henderson and her husband Richard, Pete Merlo and his wife Tamera, all of Roswell, NM, and Joseph Merlo Jr. and his wife Janice of Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina. She is also survived by grandchildren Brandon Davenport and wife Jennifer of NC, Ryan Davenport and wife Angelica of Roswell, Steven Henderson of Roswell, Kim Serrano and husband Brian of TX, April Merlo of OK, James Merlo and wife Grace of OK, David Merlo and wife Emi of Argentina and Ian Merlo of Roswell. She is also survived by 15 great grandchildren, her sister, Jacqueline Collora of TX, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Mom was also preceded in death by her loving husband of nearly 65 years, her parents, brothers Bill Lush, Ralph Lush, Harry Lush, and sister Jennifer Lush.

Pallbearers will be Jan’s grandsons Steven Henderson, Ryan Davenport, James Merlo, Ian Merlo and honorary grandson Brian Serrano, as well as family friend, Mel Young.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Tabernacle Baptist Church Bus Ministry.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Janet Merlo, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

Tabernacle Baptist Church

115 W 11th St, Roswell, NM 88201

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Interment following funeral service

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

General Douglas L. McBride Veteran Cemetery

3103 S Main St, Roswell, NM 88203

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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