OBITUARY

Kimberly Jo Merchant

December 7, 1963May 10, 2019
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Kimberly Jo Merchant, age 55, passed away on May 10, 2019 at her home in Kokomo. She was born on December 7, 1963 in Van Nuys, California to Barbara Earlywine McGaha and the late Charles Douglas Merchant.

For the past seven years, Kimberly had been working at the Chrysler plant in Kokomo and Tipton, and was a member of UAW Local 685. She was an avid fan of NASCAR, and spent a lot of her free time attending events at the Kokomo Speedway. She also enjoyed shopping, camping, and watching Ghost Adventures. Above all, Kimberly was a very family-oriented person and loved spending time with her children and grandchildren.

In addition to her mother, Barbara, Kimberly is survived by her daughters, Tiffanie (Jesse) Fausett, Amber Belhumeur, Ashlea (Ryan) McBlaine, and Tannis (Edward) Nightingale; brothers, Robin (Linda) Merchant, and Steve (Mary Jayne) Merchant; sister, Tanja Larabee; grandchildren, Justice Hanrath, Alexa Tracy, Alizabeth Youker, Braylen Nipper, Isaac Bennett, Avaleigh Nightingale, and Adler Nightingale; best friends, Penny Slavey, Glenda Striegel, and Tammy Dalton; and numerous nieces and nephews.

There will be a Celebration of Life held for Kimberly at Sunset Memory Garden Funeral Home on Thursday, May 23rd from 2-6.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Kimberly's name may be made to the American Diabetes Association.

  • FAMILY

  • Charles Douglas Merchant, Father
  • Barbara McGaha, Mother
  • Tiffanie Fausett, Daughter
  • Amber Belhumeur, Daughter
  • Ashlea McBlaine, Daughter
  • Tannis Nightingale, Daughter
  • Robin Merchant, Brother
  • Steve Merchant, Brother
  • Tanja Larabee, Sister
  • Justice Hanrath, Grandchild
  • Alexa Tracy, Grandchild
  • Alizabeth Youker, Grandchild
  • Braylen Nipper, Grandchild
  • Isaac Bennett, Grandchild
  • Avaleigh Nightingale, Grandchild
  • Adler Nightingale, Grandchild
  • Penny Slavey, Friend
  • Glenda Striegel, Friend
  • Tammy Dalton, Friend

Services

23 May

Memorial Service

2:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Sunset Memory Garden Funeral Home

2097 W Alto Rd
Kokomo, Indiana 46902

Memories

Kimberly Jo Merchant

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Scott Baer

May 23, 2019

My greatest Memory of Kim was the time we were next door neighbors at Maple Lawn. We enjoyed Holidays and many events together filled with laughs and love. I loved Kim ,she was a great friend and will be very missed.
My condolences to all of the family and may God Bless you all.

Shirley Revolt(flamino)

May 15, 2019

I am so heart broken to know what your going through. I can remember you talking to me about her. I know what love you had for her .My heart is heavy. I'm So very Sorry .
May God Bless you and all your family at this time.

Phyllis Hunter

May 14, 2019

My first memory of Kim was at Camden apartments in Tampa. She was at the pool with Ashlea, Alexa & Alizabeth. She came up to me and gave me a huge hug and said she felt like she knew me because Ashlea had told her so much about me. She thanked me for helping out with the girls. Later in the week she approached me and told me that I deserved better and not to allow others to make feel unworthy. She added that I could call her mom and not Miss Kim. Her smile lit up a room everytime she walked in it. I am deeply sorry for the families loss. Love you guys!!

larry townsend

May 11, 2019

veterans reunion

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Biography

When Kimberly Jo Merchant walked into the room, those in her company felt energy, an enthusiastic spontaneity. This was just one example of who Kimberly was and how she impacted those around her. Kimberly was a clever and gregarious person who always sought out the finest attributes in other people. It was as if Kimberly wanted to share all of their experiences, revel in their lives and celebrate their discoveries. Kimberly was tireless and had boundless enthusiasm that would serve her well throughout her life.

She was the daughter of Doug Merchant and Barbara McGaha. Kimberly was raised in Kokomo, Indiana. Always at the ready with a good joke, she grew up to be quite a humorous person. While some who knew Kimberly might describe her as an idealist, her friends and family understood well that Kimberly was always in pursuit of life’s endless possibilities and opportunities available to her.

Kimberly was raised with two brothers, Robin and Steve, and had one sister, Tanja. Kimberly was very accepting and supportive of her family, although she enjoyed tattling on her brothers when the opportunity arose. She was perceived as the central person in her family in terms of keeping communication open between the family members. Whenever discord or tension arose within the home, Kimberly was typically the member who brought about resolution and harmony. These traits served Kimberly well in her adult life and, along with her wit, outgoing personality, and understanding of others, drew the admiration of many who knew her.

As a young girl, Kimberly was able to empathize and identify with a vast array of people and personality types. This quality drew her into a diverse group of friends and acquaintances. Kimberly was intelligent and had little trouble getting along with her peers. She was almost always the first to jump in when it came to playing games or participating in other childhood activities. She was a member of the Brownies. In her spare time she liked collecting and playing with dolls. Kimberly's memorable achievements included participating in the Kokomo City Choir when she was in 8th grade. Kimberly had the ability to find amusement with almost any activity she and the many childhood friends she shared might discover.

During her high school years, Kimberly responded enthusiastically to any new project and was regularly in search of one adventure after another. She graduated from Haworth High School in 1982. Kimberly was a very good student, and generally did well in her courses. Kimberly absorbed as much as she could from all of her teachers and was consistently able to tackle conceptual and abstract problems, using her imagination to master her assignments. For Kimberly, school often became just an extension of playtime, thanks to her ability to turn just about anything into a game. Classmates considered Kimberly a good listener, knowing that when necessary, they could go to her to discuss just about anything. Her favorite class in high school was choir.

Following high school, Kimberly attended Beauty School. Kimberly was very adaptable, a quality that helped her make the transition from high school to college with little difficulty. As a result, Kimberly's problem solving skills and thirst for new knowledge almost guaranteed that she enjoyed virtually every class she took. Kimberly was always in quest of new things to learn and experience

With a talent for making acquaintances easily which in turn brought her an endless stream of friends, Kimberly was very sociable and could blend without effort into any social group. Assertive and outgoing, Kimberly was easy to know and demonstrated a deep concern for others. She always seemed aware of what was going on with people around her and throughout her life she made many, many friends. While growing up, some of her best friends were Andrea Dennis and Mary Cooper. Later in life, she became friends with Penny Slavey, Tammy Dalton, and Glenda Streigel.

Kimberly was a natural and creative parent who was willing to provide her family with all sorts of new and interesting experiences. For Kimberly, parenting was a particularly enjoyable and pleasurable part of her life. Every activity, from chores to bedtime routines, became a game in her home. Kimberly's skill at understanding her children's feelings, her sensitivity to their needs, and her gift for gentle persuasion enabled her to find novel solutions to any problem or situation that might crop up. Kimberly was blessed with four daughters: Tiffanie, Amber, Ashlea, and Tannis. She was also blessed with seven grandchildren, Justice, Alexa, Alizabeth, Braylen, Isaac, Avaleigh, and Adler.

Kimberly was uplifted by new ideas and was excited by life’s possibilities, traits that made her an exceptional worker. Her primary occupation was working at Chrysler. She was employed for Chysler for almost six years. Kimberly was enterprising, inventive and working against deadlines seemed to energize her. Kimberly had the uncanny ability to identify a win/win solution to just about any problem, possibly because of her gift for insight. Kimberly's fellow workers saw her as a supporter and a mentor.

Because Kimberly loved to have a broad variety of activities in her life, she took advantage of the opportunity to pursue numerous hobbies. Her favorite pursuits were camping, shopping, going to races, and spending time with her family. Kimberly had a knack for being able to multi-task in order to create time for all of her favorite pastimes. However, Kimberly's ever-present concern for others always took precedent.

Kimberly derived much satisfaction from participating in and watching sports. Her charisma, supportive nature and ability to improvise when called upon to do so all made perfect attributes for enjoying a great many sporting activities. Recreational sports included fishing. Kimberly was also something of a sports fan and enjoyed watching her favorite events whenever she got the opportunity. Tops on her list were football and racing.

Throughout her life, Kimberly was actively involved in professional and community organizations. She was compassionate, accommodating and quick to move into action. Always able to build a consensus, Kimberly seemed to be the person smack dab in the middle of things, working to get things done. Those who had the opportunity to work with Kimberly usually agreed that when you were involved in an organization with her, it was as entertaining as anything you could imagine. In high school, Kimberly was a member of the choir. Throughout her later years, Kimberly was an active member of the ABATE Motorcycle Club.

Kimberly's love of improvising in her daily life was a perfect fit for her enjoyment of traveling. Her favorite vacations were ones that were not planned. Traveling in a casual manor fit her personality well. Excited about seeing changing scenery and constantly looking for the enjoyment life could offer, Kimberly took her vacations seriously, well, as seriously as she possibly could. Favorite vacations included visiting Florida and spending time with her family any time that she could.

Kimberly was a lover of animals and cherished her pets. Pocket Prince, a Yorkshire Terrier, was a best friend for over 10 years. Her family was rounded out by her dogs and cats.

Kimberly Merchant passed away on May 10, 2019 in the comfort of her home. Kimberly was a diabetic and fought against it from the start of her diagnosis. She is survived by her children, Tiffanie, Amber, Ashlea, and Tannis; and her grandchildren and siblings. Services were held at Sunset Memory Garden Funeral Home.

There was always a certain style and inventiveness to Kimberly. She was a dynamic, self-expressive person who was forever looking to celebrate the endless possibilities life had to offer. She had a knack for being clever, creative and witty, and for others, was a joy to be around. While she was often fiercely independent, it seemed as if many others looked to Kimberly Merchant for inspiration, leadership, wisdom and even courage. Kimberly was always more than willing to share life’s experiences with her loved ones.