Cover photo for Gavin Cole Sexton's Obituary
Gavin Cole Sexton Profile Photo
2001 Gavin 2021

Gavin Cole Sexton

December 8, 2001 — May 3, 2021

Gavin Cole Sexton, age 19, of Wilmington, North Carolina passed away Monday, May 3, 2021, at his home on Carolina Beach.

Gavin is the son of Daphane and Mark Merriman and Scott Sexton. He was born on December 8, 2001 at the University of Tennessee, in Knoxville. Gavin and his family moved to Carolina Beach in 2008. The beach was his home.

Gavin was a caring son, brother, boyfriend, and friend. He had a beautiful heart, was compassionate, understanding, and genuine to everyone around him. He was incredibly smart, goal oriented, and quick witted. Gavin was always making everyone laugh and enjoyed being surrounded by others.

Gavin graduated from Eugene Ashley High School in May of 2020. He had so many friends whom he loved and in turn, loved him. Some of his favorite things were music, sports, fishing, clothing, and shoes. Gavin and his girlfriend Olivia Paplham had plans to start their life together in Chicago later this year. He was planning to attend trade school to become an electrician.

Gavin loved nothing more than being with friends and family. He and his mom shared a bond like no other – he was her rock. Gavin loved football, especially the New England Patriots. He and his dad Mark loved attending or watching any sporting event together. Gavin and his sister Ana enjoyed hanging out, shopping, eating ice cream, listening to music, and enjoying the beach. He also enjoyed visiting his family in Kentucky and riding four wheelers with his grandpa and grandma.

Gavin is survived by his mom and dad, Daphane and Mark Merriman; his father, Scott Sexton; siblings, Ana Merriman, Devon and Jocelyn Sexton; girlfriend, Olivia Paplham; grandparents Doug and Kathy Musgrove, Doug and his late wife, Shirley Sexton, Theresa and Dean Nardi, Don and Joyce Merriman, and Wilma Walls; aunts, Erika (Dennis K) Merriman, Ashley (Joshua) Shepperd, Emily (C.J.) Williams, Rebecca (Ronnie) Clark, and Valerie Graham; uncles, Doug Musgrove, Andrew (Angelica) Sexton, and Greg (Rhonda) Sexton; as well as great-grandparents, Betty Ellis and Imogene Walls; and a host of special family and friends who adored him. 

Funeral services will be held on Friday, May 14, 2021 at 1:00 pm in the chapel of Pine Knot Funeral Home. Gavin will be laid to rest in the Hayes Creek Cemetery. The family will receive friends for visitation on Thursday evening from 6:00 pm until 9:00 pm at the funeral home. All family and friends are invited to share in honoring Gavin's life. The family request that you come casual and comfortable, as that's what Gavin would have wanted. 

Gavin's family has established a memorial fund to help preserve his memory for those that loved him. 

Pine Knot Funeral Home is assisting the family with funeral arrangements. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gavin Cole Sexton, please visit our flower store.


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