Sharon Kaye Merriam, age 74, was born September 26, 1947 to parents L.E. “Red” Cornelison and Bonnie Cornelison, both of Seminole, Oklahoma. She was preceded in death by the love of her life, her husband of 22 years Larry Merriam.
Known to her friends and family as Kaye, she was all about experiences. A love for adventure that was developed by her parents, her father Red was a World War II vet of the first division of U.S. Marines, a machinist and Co-Owner of Cornelison Engine Maintenance Company in Seminole, Oklahoma. As well as her mom Bonnie who was a teacher and nurse at heart, an avid reader, cook and gardener, who taught children Sunday School for 66 years.
Kaye loved to travel. When she was younger that sense of adventure from traveling with her parents spilled over in the years she was married to Larry where they found themselves on adventures in boats up and down rivers, through foreign countries or just a road trip to Branson, Missouri to see the latest shows. Later she found fun in traveling on bus tours across the U.S. meeting new people and finding great new travel companions.
When Kaye wasn’t traveling, she was scavenging for antiques, finding unique and quirky items wherever they were. Kaye loved wandering through antique stores looking for uncommon things that had unusual stories to tell or were just unexpected in what they were. Finding the unconventional was her specialty.
In addition to travel and scouring for curiosities, she and Larry both loved the theater and art. Whether it was walking around the Paseo Art show, or attending a musical or play, they were both lovers of all things creative and artistic.
Her career in education spanned over 30 years as a reading specialist in Putnam City and Midwest city schools, and as an art therapist for a few years before completely retiring from classrooms. Her dedication and love of education meant she made many lasting friendships with fellow teachers and students.
She is survived by her two stepchildren – Christopher Merriam and Lara Merriam-Smith and step granddaughter Estella Smith.
Kaye loved animals and always had them in her house, whether her beloved dogs when she lived in Norman or the multitude of calico cats she shared for 20 plus years with Larry. She would prefer that in lieu of flowers please make a donation to Pets and People Animal Rescue in Yukon, Oklahoma (link here) or Humane Society of OKC (link here).
There will be a Celebration of Life at Buchanan’s Funeral Home on Monday October 3, 2022 from 2-5pm. Please come to share stories of Kaye, commiserate with friends and celebrate her life.