Merle Brent(1926 - 2013)

Merle C. 'Moon' Brent

Great Falls —Merle C. 'Moon' Brent, age 87, passed away early in the morning on September 9, 2013, after a brief stay at Peace Hospice of Montana. Funeral services will be held at Croxford Funeral Home on Saturday, September 14th, at 2:00pm. Burial with military honors will follow at Highland Cemetery. Viewing will be available to family and friends at Croxford's on Friday, September 13th, 9:00am-5:00pm.

Merle C. 'Moon' Brent was born on February 7, 1926 in Lewistown, Montana, to Saima and Bert Brent, the second of three children. At an early age, Moon and his family moved to Great Falls where he was educated. At age 12, he worked at the Croxford Ranch to help pay for his father's funeral. When he was 15, he began work as a laborer and winch truck driver during construction of the East Base, now Malmstrom AFB. He was also employed at the Ayrshire Dairy where he wrangled horses and drove a team of horses. He was a World War II veteran, serving in the Navy in the Aleutian's on a mine sweeper, and on a destroyer in the South Pacific and Japan. He was discharged in Bremerton, WA in 1946, and returned to Great Falls by train. Soon after, he joined the Carpenter's Union and installed acoustic tile ceilings in towns all across Montana until retirement. He loved animals of all kinds, especially horses and dogs, hunting, fishing, country music, and going to rodeos. On September 4, 1974, he married his long-time girlfriend Mary Dors Axtman. Together, they traveled extensively in the western and southwestern United States, loved gambling in Las Vegas, frequently ending up in Scottsdale, AZ, enjoying the good life with relatives. They also made many trips to Mexico, especially enjoying the resort areas of Mazatlan, Acapulco, and the border town of Nogales. The Prospector Casino in Great Falls provided them with many happy hours of enjoyment, playing the machines, and visiting with friends.

Preceding Moon in death were his parents, his younger sister Margaret, his older brother Marion, and his wife Mary.

He is survived by his daughter, Sandra (Gary) Cotton, grandson's, Josh Cotton of Great Falls and Jeremy Cotton of Crawfordsville, IN and a great grandson, Zack Cotton of Great Falls. Also by sister-in-law Jean (Dan) Itami, a niece, Arlette Itami, and three nephews, Russell, Steven and Scott Itami, all of the Scottsdale, AZ area.

Memorial contributions may be made to Peace Hospice of Montana, 1101 26th St S, Great Falls, MT 59405.

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Funeral Home

Croxford Funeral Home and Crematory
1307 Central Avenue Great Falls, MT 59401
(406) 453-0315

Published in Great Falls Tribune on Sept. 11, 2013