George Merle DeLamar was born on January 5, 1940 in Dalark, Arkansas to Rev. Oliver DeLamar and Zeola Jackson DeLamar. He was the twelfth child of thirteen children born to this union. Merle was raised in a home by loving and nurturing parents who instilled in him the values of integrity and humility.
He grew up during the time of segregation and attended the Sparkman Training School in Sparkman, Arkansas. He always had a love for sports and played the catcher position for the Dalark Baseball team. He met and married Dorothy Jean Wingfield on August 26, 1966 and their union was blessed with 5 children, 13 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. He was a good husband and did his best at providing for his family.
He was a life-long member of Mt. Olive African Methodist Episcopal Church and with a personal intent to solidify his knowledge; he studied the AME way and knew it. Having been raised in a Christian household the church was always extremely important to him. He studied his bible faithfully, always had a song on his heart, continued to attend Sunday school and worship services regularly until his health started to decline. He was a strong supporter of the Hot Springs/Arkadelphia AME District and attended many district meetings and conferences. Throughout the years he served in several capacities as: a class leader, custodian and as an usher. He currently served as trustee, benevolence committee chairperson and president of the Sons of Allen Ministry. Merle enjoyed reading his bible and believed strongly that although one is not saved by his works, a man shows his faith by his works (James 2:18). He remained a faithful member until his departure from this life.
Merle retired from Ray White Lumber Company and made many friends. In his leisure time he enjoyed watching basketball, westerns, Tyler Perry and Meet the Brown’s. Family gatherings and church events were his favorite times. He was the family and church photographer. He loved taking pictures and capturing memorable moments.
His life was rewarding, full, and blessed. On Thursday, March 22, 2018, he passed from this life. He was preceded in death by his parents, one daughter, Gloria DeLamar who passed March 2017; six sisters, Zeddie B. Jackson, Myrtle Jones, Maud Jones, Elsie Ben Johnson, Frankie Plummer and Odessa Nelson; five brothers, Horace Johnson, Leon DeLamar, Jr., Clarence DeLamar, Claudie DeLamar and Algie Johnson; and a son-in-law, Gerald Johnson.
Memories of Merle will live in the hearts of his beloved wife of 51 years, Dorothy J. DeLamar; his children, Dennis (Sue) Nelson of Malvern, AR, Ermatine Johnson of Gum Springs, AR, Milton Nelson of Dalark, AR, James DeLamar of Tucker, AR, and Sandra DeLamar (James Jacobs) of Dalark, AR; his godchildren, Darren Johnson (Barbara Hughes) of Sparkman, AR, Eric (Katrine) Keith of Milwaukee, WI and Bridgette Jones of Fayetteville, AR; thirteen grandchildren, sixteen great-grandchildren and one brother, Oliver DeLamar of Oakland, CA; two sisters-n-law, Geneva King and Berthia DeLamar; two brothers-in-law, James (Emma) Wingfield and George (Betty) Wingfield. He also leaves a host of nieces, nephews, other family members, special friends Rev. Thomas Brazil, Sr., Rev. Roy Smith, Herman Jones, Vanilla Hannah and Lawrence Wright, as well as, numerous other friends and the Mt. Olive AME Church family.
Public visitation will be held on Thursday, March 29, 2018 from 12 noon until 4:00 p.m.at the funeral home. The family will receive friends from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at Mt. Olive AME Church, 56 Dallas 349. A celebration of his life will be shared at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, March 30, 2018 at St. Paul AME Church, Rev. T. W. Scott, pastor and Rev. Thomas Brazil, Sr., eulogist. Interment will be at Houston-Turner Cemetery in Dalark, Arkansas.