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We Pray for the Family of Dell Merchant Gunter

Dell Merchant Gunter, 76, of Newberry died, Sunday, February 11, 2024 at Newberry County Memorial Hospital.

Born on September 17, 1947 in Newberry, she was a daughter of the late Julius Taylor and Dorothy Dell McCarty Merchant. Dell was a 1965 graduate of Saluda High School and graduated Cum Laude from Newberry College, as a member of the Bachman Honor Society in 1969. She retired as a Senior Systems Analyst from SCE&G/SCANA after 32 1/2 years of service to be there for her grandchildren.

Diagnosed with Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes at the age of 11, Dell fought a courageous battle with a disease that drastically impacted her health for over 66 years. She met every challenge she faced with a devout faith in God, relentless hope, and unparalleled strength. 

Dell was the ultimate “Nana” to Cassidy Dell Waites and Quintin Gunter Waites. She was their “guardian angel,” who loved them immeasurably, unconditionally, and with utmost encouragement and pride. She was always their greatest fan and biggest supporter as she attended dance and piano recitals, cheerleading events, football games, basketball games, baseball games, scouting events… whatever they did, Nana was there. 

Dell was an active member of the St. James Lutheran Church parish, where her husband has faithfully served for the past 31 years. She looked forward to her family vacation trips to Disney World, the Great Smoky Mountains, Hilton Head Island, and Wild Dunes. Dell also enjoyed attending South Carolina football games with her family and was an avid supporter of Newberry Academy for over 40 years. 

She is survived by her devoted husband of 54 years, Rev. D. Rodney Gunter; a daughter, Julie Gunter Waites and husband Doyle of Newberry; a brother, Wyman “Buck” Merchant and wife Jackie of Lexington; a sister, Luelleyn Rask of Missouri; grandchildren, Cassidy Dell Waites and Quintin Gunter Waites; nieces, nephews, and many dear friends. She was predeceased by an infant son, Michael Rodney Gunter.

Funeral services will be conducted at 3:00 PM Friday, February 16, 2024 at St. James Lutheran Church by the Rev. D. Rodney Gunter. Burial will follow in Travis Park in Saluda. The family will receive friends Thursday evening from 6:00 until 7:30 PM at the McSwain-Evans Funeral Home. 

Active pall bearers will be Doyle Waites, Cassidy Waites, Quintin Waites, David Merchant, Kimberly Wynne,  Charles Humphries, and Ethan Waites. 

Honorary pall bearers will be the Varsity Athletes of Newberry Academy. 

Memorials may be made to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, PO Box 5021, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5021 or The family also wishes to express their appreciation to the many doctors, nurses, and medical professionals who have cared for Dell over the years

Almighty God, source of all mercy and giver of comfort: Deal graciously, we pray, with those who mourn, that, casting all their sorrow on you, they may know the consolation of your love; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
– Prayer from the Lutheran Book of Worship

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