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Merle Faye Bailey Claxton

On July 23, 2023, Merle Faye Bailey Claxton passed peacefully at age 89 after a brief illness.
Merle was born on August 28, 1933, in Hartwell, GA, to the late Arnold Judson Bailey Sr. and Mamie Ruth Martin Bailey. She was later joined by her adored brother, Juddy. The two held a special friendship until her passing.
In her early years, Merle’s beauty earned her the title of Miss Hart County and caught the eye of the love of her life, Jack Claxton. They embarked on a journey of love and commitment that lasted 63 years, building a life and family filled with laughter and love. Her four children and their families were the pride and joy of her life, and she was quick to offer boundless advice (wanted or not) and unwavering support. She was happiest when she was the central figure in her children’s lives. She imparted her wisdom and Christian values to them, leaving a strong and loving legacy that will continue for generations.
A woman of timeless elegance, Merle possessed a style that effortlessly blended Southern grace with unwavering determination and a mischievous twinkle in her eye. Her strong spirit, quick wit and infectious smile brought joy to those around her, brightening the lives of family, friends, and even strangers fortunate enough to cross her path.
She cherished life’s simple pleasures, including spending hours hunting antiques, taking trips with her friends or family, cheering on the Bulldogs, eating “just a small slice” of homemade chocolate cake, and sharing stories and laughter with loved ones. She also enjoyed decorating and rearranging furniture in many houses, but her favorite was her home in Warm Springs.
Merle Claxton was preceded in death by her loving and devoted husband, Ernest Jackson “Jack” Claxton, Jr., a daughter, Elizabeth Powell, a daughter-in-law, Anne Claxton, and two grandchildren, Bailey Landry and Craig Brown.
She is survived by her brother, A. Judson Bailey, Jr. (Emily) of Hartwell, GA; her son Jack Claxton (Monica) of Flowery Branch, GA; her son Bill Claxton of Barnesville; her daughter, Cathi Claxton of Barnesville; nine grandchildren: Kevin Powell (Jen) of Boyds, MD, Carolyn Horne (Chris) of Townsend, DE, Matt Claxton (Kris) of Dallas, GA, Courtney Claxton of Barnesville, Zack Claxton of Atlanta, Kathryn Green (Josh) of Barnesville, Chris Brown, Kim Peterson of Woodstock, Chase Landry of Columbus, eleven great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
A private celebration and graveside service will be held Sunday, August 27 at Warm Springs First Baptist Church.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Warm Springs First Baptist Church, 5700 Spring St, Warm Springs, GA 31830.
Cox Funeral Home in Manchester is overseeing the arrangements for the Claxton family. Please sign the online register at
The family would also like to thank The Lighthouse Community Hospice and Sunny Grove Assisting Living for their assistance in Merle’s final month.

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