Carlene Merrell

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Carlene Merrell, 78, of Jefferson City, passed away Saturday, November 20, 2010, at the Jefferson City Nursing and Rehab Center. She was born August 21, 1932, in Vichy, a daughter of the late Ralph and Lucy (Evans) Branson. She attended Maries R-1 High School in Vienna and went on to graduate from Kirksville College of Cosmetology in Kirksville. She was married on December 2, 1947, in Vienna, to Earl Orr, who preceded her in death on July 7, 2008. On April 10, 1982, she was united in marriage in Jefferson City, to Senator Norman Merrell, who preceded her in death on June 14, 1994. Carlene owned and operated her own Beauty Salon in Shelbina. After she moved to Jefferson City, she worked for the Missouri State Board of Cosmetology, where she became the Executive Secretary. She was also the Founder of Merrell University of Beauty Arts and Science. Carlene was a member of Capital City West Christian Church in Jefferson City. She loved interior decorating and was a wonderful seamstress. She is survived by one son: Terry Orr of Jefferson City; two grandchildren: Christopher Branson Orr (wife Delia) of Lake Ozark and Amanda K. Essex (husband Preston) of Jefferson City; two sisters: Brenda Forbis (husband John) of St. Louis and Anita Honse (husband Kenny) of Jefferson City; and four great-grandchildren: Sawyer Bohannan, Skylar Bohannan, PJ Essex, and Emma Orr; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was also preceded in death by one brother: Private 1st Class Ralph Branson Jr. while serving in Vietnam; one sister: Norma Rhoades on November 4, 2005; and one great-niece: Grace Forbis on November 13, 2009. Friends will be received from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 24, 2010, at the Houser-Millard Funeral Home, where funeral services will follow at 12:00 p.m. with Rev. Ken Harland officiating. Entombment will follow in the Hawthorn Memorial Gardens Mausoleum. Expressions of sympathy may be made to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, P.O. Box 650309, Dallas, TX 75265. Arrangements are under the direction of HOUSER-MILLARD Funeral Directors, 2613 West Main Street, 636-3838. Condolences may be left for the family online at

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