Terri Maria Merritt, 65, passed on Thursday, June 25, 2020 at Trellis Hospice Kate B. Reynolds Center in Winston-Salem, NC. Terri was born in Alameda, CA in 1954 to Jeannette Pesenti Merritt and James Boyd Merritt.
Terri was preceded in death by her father, James B. Merritt of Warsaw, NC. She is survived by her mother, Jeannette and her brother James, both residing on an old family farm in Warsaw, NC. She also has a nephew, Caden Merritt of Raleigh, and a neice, Zhana Sofia Merritt, of Bulgaria. She has a cousin, Leslie Hall Meisinger of Concord, CA. Terri leaves behind a large number of close friends, neighbors, associates, and colleagues.
Terri graduated from Lexington Senior High School in 1972, where she was a member of Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Fraternity. She also received the Associate in Arts Degree from Davidson County Community College; and a Bachelor of Arts Degree as well as a Master’s Degree in Counseling, both from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Her career as a probation officer began with the State of North Carolina in 1976, and in 1984 she accepted the position as a probation officer with the Winston-Salem office of United States Government Middle District of the U.S. Courts System, where she also served as Drug Treatment Specialist and later as Supervising U.S. Probation Officer.
In the 1980’s Terri served as Chairperson to the Board of Directors of the High Point Volunteers to the Court, and she also was employed to teach counseling courses in the Criminal Justice curriculum at Davidson County Community College. She served as a board member for Hawley House, a halfway house for females with mental health needs; also as an advocate for the Women’s Shelter of High Point, NC. Throughout her career Terri received numerous awards and certificates including completion of training through the Institute for Reality Therapy. She served as a trainer on counseling techniques with the Federal Judicial Center in Washington, DC. She was recognized for conducting a support group for post-convicted women, giving tirelessly on behalf of the women and their families. She also maintained licensure throughout her career and later years as a Licensed Professional Counselor and as a Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist.
After retiring from the U.S. Courts System in 2005, Terri established a private counseling practice in the Winston-Salem area. She was always ready to help those who were in need. She maintained her private practice until 2018.
As rich as Terri’s intellectual and career life was, she was also a creative person, expressing herself through writing poetry and painting. She loved her cat, “Hootie-Cat” with a fierce devotion. She also enjoyed listening to music, dining out, and watching movies. A loyal friend, she was an excellent communicator and she would reach out to those she loved on a daily basis.
There will be no funeral service. The family will have a private gathering at Terri’s final resting place, at Devotional Gardens in Warsaw, NC. In honor of Terri’s service to the community, donations may be made to the charity of your choice.
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