John Dakota “Koty” Merriss, 18, died unexpectedly on May 22, 2015.
He was born in Atlanta, GA and attended both elementary and middle school in Raleigh. Koty graduated a semester early from Noblesville High School in Indiana before returning to live and work in Boone NC.
Koty will be remembered for the lives that he touched with his strength, generosity, and fun loving spirit. His natural leadership and concern for others led him to serve at-risk youth at the Boys and Girls Club in Noblesville. Born a gifted athlete, Koty excelled in many sports including baseball, football, and track. He and his brother, Paxton, shared many interests and had a special bond. He also enjoyed spending time entertaining his baby brother Bo Rylan. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends, and teammates.
He is survived by his parents Susan and Mark Craige, Shane and Stephanie Merriss, brothers Paxton and Bo Rylan Merriss, grandparents Patricia Witt, Joan and Richard Marion, Jim and Lynda Merriss, aunts and uncles Kelly and Michael Luedtke, Todd and Laurie Merriss and many cousins.
Visitation with the family will be held on Friday evening at 6:00 pm at Hayes Barton United Methodist Church. A memorial service will follow on Saturday at 11:00 am at Hayes Barton United Methodist Church, 2209 Fairview Road, Raleigh, NC, 27608.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be given to the Miracle League of the Triangle to celebrate Koty’s love of baseball and his compassion for those with special needs.