Born in Cabool, Missouri, she was the daughter of Ancil and Stella Arthur. She graduated high school from Cabool. Merlene then went to work at Brauer Brothers Shoe Company for several years until the birth of her second born, Carri. She then went to work for Dale and Florence Cartwright at their dental office and in their home.
She accepted Jesus Christ at a young age at Hamilton Creek Baptist Church. She and Ted attended Southside Baptist Church in Mountain Grove, Missouri, until she was unable to attend. She enjoyed cooking, gardening, Christmas, Halloween, and people-watching at Wal-Mart. She will be remembered by most for her stubborn personality (Ted prefers to call her his Captain), her giggles, her generosity, her tidy house, her ability to pack the best school lunches, her faithfulness to her family, always having cookies to snack on, being gullible, her strength, her ability to feel and have empathy for those around her, but most of all her commitment to the things that mattered most.
She is survived by her spouse, Teddy Martin of Mountain Grove; brother, Ivan Arthur and wife Vanita of Cabool; children, LaDonna Lezak and husband Stephen of Elk Creek, Missouri, Carri McBride and husband Tom of Lebanon, Missouri, and Kesha Martin of Springfield, Missouri; her grandchildren, Kayla Sloan and husband Eric of Houston, Missouri, Kelsey Stogsdill and wife Lauren of Ozark, Missouri, Kyle Stogsdill of Lebanon, Stevie Patterson and husband Steven of Lebanon, Tomie Rowles and husband Daniel of Ozark, Missouri, Tommy McBride of Lebanon, Lynsey McBride of Lebanon, and Kelea Martin of Springfield, Missouri; her great-grandchildren, Kenzi Sloan and Stryker Sloan, Wyatt Stogsdill and Jacob Patterson.
She was preceded by her parents, Ancil and Stella Arthur; brother, Ervin Arthur; and great-granddaughter, Kayden Sloan.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, August 19, 2017, at 2:00 p.m. at Southside Baptist Church in Mtn. Grove with Josh Miller officiating. Private family inurnment will be in Cabool Cemetery. Arrangements were under the direction of Elliott-Gentry-Carder Funeral Home of Cabool.
Online condolences may be made at www.egcfuneralhome.com.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations to be made to Cabool Cemetery Fund, c/o Elliott-Gentry-Carder Funeral Home, P.O. Box 708, Cabool, MO 65689.