Mrs. Winifred Merier Gourley of Douglas, Georgia, passed away on Saturday, July 1, 2023 at Vista Park Health Center, following an extended illness. Winifred Jean Merier was the daughter of Sibbett Merier Sr. and Allie Bagley Merier of Douglas. She was born on September 25, 1932 in Douglas, Georgia. She was a member of Eastside Baptist Church of Douglas.
Winifred graduated from Douglas High School in 1952, and worked as the school’s secretary and registrar.
In 1957, she became a librarian at the Satilla Regional Library in Douglas, and for many years oversaw the Genealogy department, until her retirement. She greatly expanded the library’s genealogy holdings, wrote the “Finding Yesteryear” column for the Douglas Enterprise, and helped many families trace their ancestry. She also helped compile records of Coffee County cemeteries for a later book, and was the co-author of “Graveyard Road to Silk Stocking Row”, a history of early families and homes in Douglas, GA.
Winifred also helped coordinate Douglas High Class of 1952 high school reunions, as well as Gourley reunions.
Winifred is preceded in death by her husband, Thomas Sherman Gourley. Jr. and her brother, Sibbett “Sonny” Merier, Jr.
She is survived by two sons, Bruce (Debra) Gourley of Manhattan, Montana; and Timothy M. Gourley of Douglas, Georgia; and one Granddaughter: Elizabeth Ann Gourley, Daughter of Bruce and Debra Gourley.
Services will be held at the Chapel of Sims at 11AM on Friday July 7th, 2023. Interment at the City of Douglas Cemetery to follow.
The family will receive friends and family on Friday, July 7th, 2023 from 10AM until 11AM at Sims Funeral Home of Douglas, Georgia.