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Merle M. Broderick passed away February 19 in Port Angeles.
Born Merle Lee Margaret Marchand on March 23, 1936 in Oakland, California, the daughter of California J. Angotti and William J. Marchand, Merle grew up in Crockett, California.
She attended San Jose State University from 1953 to 1957, where she was a member of Sigma Kappa National Sorority. After graduating from San Jose State, she pursued graduate studies there and continued them at University of California-Riverside, the University of Redlands and California State University at San Bernardino.
A lifelong learner, Merle also loved sharing her knowledge with students. She did so for 40 years as a teacher for Rim of the World School District, Lake Arrowhead, California, where she was much loved by her students, many of whom remained in touch with her throughout her life.
After her divorce in 1975, Merle was married on December 17, 1975, to Cornelius Anthony Broderick, with whom she spent many wonderful and happy years in the San Bernardino, California, area until he suddenly passed away.
She then later married Gary Lew Smeltzer on August 7, 1988, with whom she shared her life and with whom she moved to Port Angeles. Gary passed away here in April 2002.
Merle moved to Port Angeles in March 1997 upon retirement from teaching. She became very active in the community sharing and giving freely of her time.
She was active in the Garden Club, Newcomers Club, St. Vincent de Paul, AARP of Port Angeles (board member), Serenity House, Soroptimist-Jet Set, Sons of Italy, Naval Emblem Club No. 490 (past president), Elks Naval Lodge No. 353, Port Angeles Fine Arts Center and Queen of Angels Catholic Church.
Merle was very fun-loving and led a very busy life. She enjoyed spending time with her many friends who were very important to her. She was always willing to help others, and the Catholic Church was a very big part of her life. She has left us with many fond memories.
Merle is survived by her stepson, Tim Broderick.
A memorial Mass will be held at Queen of Angels Church, 209 West Eleventh Street, on Thursday, February 27 at 11 a.m.
Published in The Peninsula Daily News on Feb. 26, 2014