James C. Merchant, son of the late William and May Crowder Merchant, was born in Hailville, Okla., on May 9, 1924, and died at the John J. Pershing V.A. Medical Center in Poplar Bluff on Friday, Jan. 24, 2003, at the age of 78. Mr. Merchant was a former resident of Madison, Ill., before he moved to Zalma 13 years ago. He was retired maintenance man for Marhan Trucking in Madison. He served in the U.S. Navy during WW II. Surviving are one son and two daughters; four step-sons, Fred Tanner of Madison, Ill., William Tanner, David Tanner and Ronald Tanner, all of Granite City, Ill.; one step-daughter, Janet Thorton of Granite City, Ill.; one half-brother, Bob Wilson of Madison, Ill.; one sister, Tiny Smith of Madison, Ill.; and five step-grandchildren. Visitation was held after 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 26, 2003, at the Watkins & Sons Funeral Home in Puxico. Graveside funeral services were held on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2003, at 1:30 p.m. in the New Hope Cemetery near McGee with Rev. Larry Underwood of McGee officiating. Interment followed in the New Hope Cemetery near McGee with full military honors provided by the Veterans Honor Guard of Poplar Bluff. Watkins & Sons Funeral Service of Puxico was in charge of arrangements.