Shirley A. Merkel of Great Falls, Montana passed away at the age of 87 on October 31, 2023. Shirley was born January 22, 1936, in Moorehead, Minnesota to Clarence and Annie Rinke. In 1953, she married Bennie Braaten. They moved to Great Falls and were blessed with 4 children. They later divorced.
Shirley worked for Social Services for several years then at the County Hospital. In her later years she worked for the Great Falls School Food Services.
In 1980, she married Ervin “Merk” Merkel, and they spent many wonderful years together until his passing in 2015. In their retirement they enjoyed traveling, especially their trip to Alaska. Shirley looked forward to her family reunions in Minnesota with all her brothers and sisters. What a wonderful time they would have! She also made so many lifelong friends with her pinochle group.
Shirley is survived by her daughters; Vicky Clark of Billings, MT, Melinda Brown (Mick); son, Rick Braaten (Lynn) of Torrey, UT and son-in-law, Jeff Broden; 9 grandchildren; 11 great grandchildren and a sister, Mavis in Minneapolis, MN.
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