Phillip E. Merritt


Rev. Phillip E. Merritt, 89, of East Peoria, IL, passed away at 1:56 am on Monday, August 8, 2022, at the Villas of Hollybrook Assisted Living in East Peoria, IL.

He was born on December 7, 1932, in Menominee, Michigan to Delmar and Marjorie (Phillips) Merritt. He married Joyce M. Martens on June 24, 1956. She passed away on December 5, 1985. On April 25, 1987, he married Stephanie Stillman Babcock in Spring Bay, IL.

Surviving are his wife, Stephanie of Washington; children, Ronda (Bob) Kilper of Bartonville, IL, Arlene (Paul) Gottshall of Washington, Anita (Neil) Kamp of Goodfield, IL, and Brent (Tonya) Merritt of Lexington, KY; step-daughter, Erin (Rodney) Kerfoot of Glassford, IL; eight grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; several step-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren; and siblings, Marilyn Walrich of Fort Wayne, IN, Mary (Stanley) Wilson of Rome City, IN, Becky Hartigan of LaGrange, KY, and Dick (Pat) Merritt of Indianapolis, IN. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Delmar Merritt, and brothers-in-law Glen Walrich and Wayne Hartigan.

Phillip was a United Methodist pastor for 62 years, serving 15 communities in Central Illinois. In his retirement he was a member of Crossroads United Methodist Church in Washington, IL. He loved fishing, hunting, gardening, and music. He was a great family man and was always ready to lend a helping hand. His talents, interests, and accomplishments are too numerous to list. He will be incredibly missed.

Visitation will be held from 10:00 am until the Funeral service at 11:00 am on Tuesday, August 16, 2022, at Mason Funeral Home Metamora Chapel with Pastor John McClung officiating. Graveside services will follow at 2:00 pm at Mt. Hope Cemetery in Sibley, IL. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Chaddock School for Struggling Children, 205 South 24th Street, Quincy, IL 62301 or to Preacher’s Aid Society and Benefit Fund (PASBF), 5900 South Second Street, Springfield, IL 62711. Online condolences at