Alleyne Merritt Richardson was born to Albert Merritt and Edna Parks Merritt on April 1, 1931, in Shelby, NC. She attended school in Cleveland County, NC, and soon after graduating high school sought better opportunities by moving to Philadelphia, PA. Moving to Philadelphia allowed her to better provide for her daughter, Diane, and to help her mother who was struggling to raise her family. Shortly after arriving, Alleyne met and married Roosevelt Richardson. When Alleyne's mother passed from cancer, Alleyne took in her two youngest sisters, Margaret "Jean" and Vivian, as young teens and raised them alongside her daughters Diane and Deborah.
Alleyne took classes and worked in the family business, R&R Seafood, for several years; then, worked at Sears & Roebuck Company for 12 years before retiring in the late 1970s. She loved taking care of her grandchildren, going to garage sales, upholstering furniture, sewing, gardening, doing word search puzzles, and watching her Soap Operas.
Alleyne is survived by her daughters, Deborah Richardson, Elizabeth "Diane" Zeigler, son-in-law Isiah Zeigler, grandson Damon Zeigler, granddaughters Krista Zeigler, Tiara Richardson, Shareese Williams, granddaughter-in-law Kymberly Zeigler, great-grandsons Evan Zeigler and Keion White, sister Vivian Merritt, and a host of cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Proceeded in death were her parents, Albert Merritt and Edna Parks Merritt, siblings James Moon and Earl Moon (stepbrothers) and Victoria Moon Simms (stepsister), Tommie Merritt, Sr., Walter “Walt” Merritt, William “Bill” Merritt, Nevada Merritt, Alma Merritt, Lillian Merritt Wood, Louise Merritt Wood, William David “W.D.” Parks, Talmadge Merritt, Vernesia Merritt Dillingham, Roscoe Merritt, Charles Merritt, and Margaret “Jean” Merritt Gilbert.
Alleyne suffered from Dementia and Borderline Personality Disorder most of her life and her illness did not allow her to enjoy life as well as she could have. Despite her illness, she had a great sense of humor and a huge, giving heart. Although Alleyne never received the proper treatment for herself, she would want that for someone else. We must eliminate the stigma behind mental illness by encouraging those affected to be properly treated. If you or someone you know suffer from a mental disorder, please seek help. Mental illness can be treated, and most can live happy productive lives.
PLEASE support the many organizations that tirelessly search for mental illness and Alzheimer’s cures.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Alzheimer’s Association at Alzheimers.org or NAMI at NAMI.org in Alleyne’s memory.
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