Tifton Gazette


February 4, 2014

Peri Lee Merchant Ross

WOODSTOCK, Md. — Peri Lee Merchant Ross, 79, of Woodstock, Md. (formerly of Tifton), died Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, at her residence. Graveside services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Hickory Springs Cemetery with the Rev. Larry Layfield officiating. The family will receive friends from 6 until 8 p.m. Friday at Albritton-Beaumont Funeral Directors.

Peri was born Feb. 3, 1934 in Olustie, Fla. to the late Elsmore and Elizabeth Cruse Merchant. She grew up in Jacksonville, Fla. but also lived as far away as Anchorage, Alaska and Boulder, Colo. She settled in Tifton in 1973 and loved the sweet Southern lifestyle. She was preceded in death by her husband, Charles Wilton Ross. Peri worked in banking and spent several years at the Citizens Bank of Tifton. In the early 80s she pursued a career in real estate and went on to earn Graduate Realtor Institute designation and a broker’s license. Peri opened her own real estate franchise in 1989 and helped many local families obtain their dream of owning their own homes. In 2001, Peri merged her business with her great friends at Century 21 in Tifton. She was a member of the Georgia Board of Realtors, chairperson for the Albany chapter of the Women’s Council of Realtors and held several positions within the Habitat for Humanity in Tifton.

She is survived by two sons and daughters-in-law, Mitch and Melinda Willis of Gainesville and Todd and Dana Willis of Woodstock, Md.;  her first husband and father of her children, Baine Willis of Woodstock, Md.; three stepdaughters and stepsons-in-law, Susan and Dale Foy of Long Beach, Miss., Cindy and Steve Chandler of Greenville, S.C. and Joy and Billy Carmichael of Rome; seven grandchildren, Jason Willis of Port St. Richie, Fla., Amanda and Mathew Willis of Tifton, Andrew Willis of Gainesville, Erin, MacKenzie, and Tucker Willis of Woodstock, Md. and one great-grandchild, Baine Willis of Port St. Richie, Fla.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider making a donation in Peri’s honor to one of the following:  Leukemia and Lymphoma Society http://www.lls.org/, Habitat for Humanity http://www.habitat.org/ or to the Tift County Animal Shelter, 278 Ga. Hwy. 125 S., Tifton, GA 31794.

You may sign the guest registry at www.albritton-beaumontfuneralhome.com.

Albritton-Beaumont Funeral Directors is in charge of arrangements.


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