ERIKA LAURANNE MERKLEIN Died gracefully in her Cerrillos home on February 12, surrounded by her family and loved ones after a courageous battle with metastatic breast cancer. Born in Braintree, Essex, England on December 27, 1955, Erika was the loving daughter of Judith Allen of Cerrillos and is survived by her brother Karl Merklein, her sister and bother-in-law Kathryn and Yusef Nun, and her dog Colbert. She is predeceased in death by her grandparents Maurice and Annie Allen and will be sorely missed by her extended family in the UK, including her beloved Uncle David Allen and Aunt Angie Allen, all of her loving cousins and grandchildren, countless friends, and her father John Merklein of Las Vegas, Nevada. Erika proudly worked as a Readjustment Counselor for the United States Department of Veteran Affairs, supporting veterans for many years at the Santa Fe Vet Center. Years prior, she counseled adults at the Kendal Home in Ohio and was a flight attendant for many years in South Florida. Erika was the epitome of a lifelong horse lover and spent countless hours volunteering at the Santa Fe Horse Shelter. She touched the hearts of all who crossed her path and we will hold her memories in our hearts until we meet again In lieu of flowers, donations in Erika's memory may be made to the Santa Fe Animal Shelter, 100 Caja del Rio Road, Santa Fe, NM 87507.
Published in Santa Fe New Mexican on Feb. 22, 2014