Patricia Josephine Merkel passed away in the early moments of Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012. Pat was born to Anna and Michael Sweeny on March 7, 1922 in Brisbane, Australia. Toward the end of World War II Pat met Bernhard (Barney) Merkel who was serving in the Army Air Corp. They were married on April 15, 1944 in Brisbane. Shortly after they journeyed to Anchorage, Alaska and spent two of their most memorable years. After a brief return to Brisbane in 1947 both returned to Barney's home state and settled in Bozeman in 1948. Making the adjustment to a winter environment was a testimony to her inner strength.
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Her family and home was her pride. Maintaining a rose garden was a never ending summer goal. She took great pride in being an American citizen. Although giving up her Australian citizenship in order to vote she always made it clear she was an Auzie. She never let you forget her Irish heritage. As many came to know she was unbending when it came to politics. She was a die hard fan of Notre Dame and had a passion for most sports. One of the many interests they both had was collecting antiques. She was also a 60-year member of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority and had many long time friends through this association.
She was very dedicated and proud of the success of her three children, Larry (Rita), Anne Thompson (Ken) of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho and son Pat (Kay) of Stockton, Calif. Nothing made her happier than to see the achievements and growth of her growing family.
Pat is survived by her three children and seven grandchildren, Jennifer Merkel, Gretchen Lutes of Elko, Nev., Ryan Merkel, and Marinna Merkel, Kenny Thompson, Michael Thompson, of Liberty Lake, Wash. and Elizabeth Tollefsbol of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Pat also has six great-grandchildren.
A vigil will be held at 6 p.m. at Dahl Funeral Chapel on Nov. 23, 2012. Funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. Nov. 24, 2012 at Holy Rosary Church. A memorial can be made to the Holy Rosary Capital Campaign, P.O. Box 96, Bozeman, MT 59771.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.dahlcares.com.
Dahl Funeral Chapel
300 Highland Boulevard Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Nov. 18, 2012