Memorial Oaks Funeral Home & Cemetery

13001 Katy Fwy, Houston, TX


Merle M Barnhill

September 27, 1924February 13, 2020

Merle M. Barnhill, 95, of Houston, Texas, passed away Thursday, February 13, 2020.

Merle was born September 27, 1924 in Houston, Texas to Jamie and Ethyl Dunn at Heights Hospital. She was a second generation native Houstonian. She attended Reagan High School, graduating in 1942.

In 1944, during the height of World War II, she married Willie John “Bill” Barnhill, who subsequently joined the Army Air Corp and was sent to various training bases around the U.S. for the next two years. She went with him, working various jobs on base or in town at each stop they made. He had orders to go to the South Pacific when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and the war abruptly ended. They returned to Houston and began their life together, having their first child, Bruce, in 1946.

Merle helped her husband run their business and raise two more children, Chris, born in 1958, and Sherri, born in 1960. They were married for 44 years, until his death in 1988.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Jamie and Ethyl Dunn, brother Kenneth Dunn, husband Bill Barnhill, and son Bruce Barnhill.

She is survived by son Chris Barnhill and wife Michele, daughter Sherri Davis and husband Greg. Grandchildren Brooke Herrington and husband Shawn, Chad Barnhill, Tyler Davis and wife Abby, Kellen Davis, Wyatt Davis and wife Annie and Sydney Davis. Great grandchildren Parker, Presley,Phoebe,Copper and Wells Davis. Brayden, Nolan and Elyse Herrington.

Merle was a beloved mother, grandmother and great grandmother. Her greatest joy was being “Mamaw”. She enjoyed reading, painting, and above all, traveling, especially cruising. We are grateful that she was able to go on many of them before she lost her sight.

Funeral services will be held at Memorial Oaks Funeral Home Monday, February 17, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. 13001 Katy Freeway Houston, TX 77079

Burial to follow at Memorial Oaks Cemetery at 2:00 p.m. 13001 Katy Freeway Houston, TX 77079


  • Funeral Service Monday, February 17, 2020
  • Graveside Service Monday, February 17, 2020


Merle M Barnhill

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February 14, 2020

I remember a conversation I had with Mrs. Barnhill after Michele’s mom’s funeral. It was about Bruce and how she was ready to see him in heaven, knowing he would be whole and healthy. What a wonderful, sweet reunion that was on Thursday!