Jo Allison Cheek Merrill, 59, of Sallisaw died Friday July 13th, 2018 at her home. She was born September 6th, 1958 at Sequoyah Memorial Hospital to Barnie Joseph and Blanche Roberta Record Cheek. She was a homemaker.
Jo Allison was a 1976 graduate of Sallisaw High School, where she proudly served as President of the Student Council. She was in the Black Diamond Marching Band, and excelled as a member of the debate team. She attended Oklahoma State University. She lived for over twenty years in Russellville, Arkansas where her family was active in the nursing home business. During her time there, she was a member of the First Baptist Church, where she leaves behind a host of friends who loved her dearly. She was one of the area’s foremost experts on all things related to the Andy Griffith Show, having even competed multiple times in the “Mayberry Days” trivia contest in Mount Airy, North Carolina. She returned to Sallisaw for the last fourteen years of her life, where she enjoyed being near her father and other immediate family.
She was preceded in death by her mother Blanche Cheek, brother Dennis Cheek, and nephew Brian Morton.
She is survived by her husband Brett Vann of the home;
Her sons Grant Merrill and wife Lauren of Owasso, Ryan Merrill of Oklahoma City, and their father Marvin Merrill of Rosenberg, Texas;
Her beloved granddaughter Molly Merrill of Owasso;
Her father and stepmother Barnie and Connie Cheek of Sallisaw; sister and brother-in-law Deborah and Jim Sparks of Tulsa; three nieces Becky Ely of Sallisaw, Kelly Massey of Sallisaw, and Dr. Heather Morton Thompson of Jenks; aunts Masako Cheek of Tulsa, Doris Johnson and husband Howard of Sallisaw, Doris Willis of Burneyville, and Jennie Richardson of Plano, Texas; twelve great nieces and nephews, and three great-great nieces and nephews.
She is also survived by a special friend Mrs. Cecilia Graham of Russellville, Arkansas who she always considered as a mother figure in her life.
Pallbearers will be Grant Merrill, Ryan Merrill, Jim Sparks, Marvin Merrill, Barrett Johnson, and Michael Morton.
Honorary pallbearers will be Hagan McKinney, Josten Ely, Garrett Ely, Tanner Ely, Hunter Morton, Jax Massey, and Dr. Roy Thompson.
Funeral services will be held at 10 am Thursday, July 19, 2018 at First Baptist Church in Sallisaw with Bro. Stephen Davis officiating. Burial will follow at Akins Cemetery under the direction of Agent Mallory Martin Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Treehouse, 151 North Volutsia, Wichita, KS 67214.
Viewing will be Tuesday from 2 – 8 pm and Wednesday from 10 am – 8 pm at Agent Mallory Martin Funeral Home in Sallisaw. The family will greet friends Wednesday from 5 – 7 pm.