Merle went home to be with her Lord on Aug, 13, 2020. Merle was born on Aug. 15, 1929 in Sidney, MT to Morel Delorance and Joan Ruth (Lutke) Burgess. She lived on the family farm north of Lambert, MT and graduated from Lambert High School in 1947. Following graduation she relocated to Billings, MT and worked for Dun & Bradstreet. On Oct. 8, 1948 she married her high school sweetheart Lieutenant Herbert E. Killian USAF in a ceremony in Chandler, AZ. They lived on Cape Cod, MA until Herb was killed in his F-84 jet fighter plane in 1949.
After returning to Montana, Merle married the love of her life, Walter B. Ehman on Sept. 14, 1950 in Terry. They were blessed with two children, Curtis Walt and Gregory Morel. In Terry, Merle worked for the ASC Office, as the medical office receptionist for Dr. Barnes, and assisted Walt with his fuel business.
In May 1956 Walt and Merle moved to Glendive, MT. In January 1963 they moved to Baker, MT to start the Baker Accounting & Insurance Service. Later she worked for D&A Chevrolet, Drs. Rogstad & Elliot, National Supply, and Eileks’ Readywear.
Merle loved Baker and her many dear friends. She was an active member of the American Lutheran Church, Sarah Circle, and the American Legion Auxiliary. She was a charter member of the Hospital Helpers Auxiliary and gave much of her time and energies working in the Pink Touch Gift Shop.
She was always the cornerstone of her family and was a living example of generosity to her grandchildren and the children of her friends. Her home was a warm and welcoming haven for pinochle parties, bank Christmas parties, or birthday parties for her host of friends. The coffee was always on and Merle was always ready for a game of scrabble. She enjoyed bird watching, feeding wildlife and tending her roses. She loved helping Walt with his woodworking projects and they made many personal gift items for friends and family.
Following Walt’s death, Merle resided briefly in Hesperia, CA, then Eden Home Retirement Community in New Braunfels, TX. In 2013 Merle moved to West Park Village in Billings, MT until her passing.
Merle was preceded in death by her husbands, her parents, and brother Don. She is survived by her two sons, Curtis and wife Sandra (Fisher) of San Antonio, TX, and Greg and wife Karen (Geving) of Fulshear, TX; Grandchildren Barbara West, Karianne (Dennis) Byargeon, Walter (Caitlin) Ehman, and Scott Ehman; Very special great nephew Joe Hufford; Great grandchildren Marieya, Kelvin, Aerialla, and Walter West; Caden and Alyssa Byargeon; Carson, Cash, and Wesley Ehman; sister Dorothy Weagel; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Merle was cremated and a memorial service and gravesite ceremony in Glendive will take place following the Covid pandemic.