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Vi Merchant, 90, of Wahpeton, ND, passed away on Saturday, January 8, 2022, at St. Catherine’s Living Center in Wahpeton. Visitation will be held on Friday, January 14, 2022, from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM, followed by her prayer service at 7:00 PM at Vertin-Munson Funeral Home in Wahpeton. Visitation will continue on Saturday, January 15, 2022, from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM, followed by her funeral service at 2:00 PM at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Abercrombie, ND. Burial will be held in the spring at Fairview Memorial Gardens, Wahpeton. Arrangements have been entrusted to Vertin-Munson Funeral Home. A live- stream of her services will be available on her obituary page at vertinmunson.com.
Viola Bernice Ellis was born on April 30, 1931, in Hankinson, ND to John and Bernice (Cronk) Ellis. She grew up in rural Richland County, ND and graduated from high school in Galchutt, ND. She was very athletic throughout her schooling, including basketball, softball, kitten ball, and cheerleading.
On December 26, 1959, Vi was united in marriage to Donnie Merchant in Lisbon, ND. The couple made their home on the family farm where they raised their family. Vi stayed busy by driving truck, providing meals, and helping out wherever she was needed until they retired from farming in 1980. They continued to live on the farm but spent 20-plus fishing seasons living in their A-frame cabin at Pick City on Lake Sakakawea. One of her proudest moments was winning the grand prize in a 1987 salmon tournament. Loving the outdoors as she did, Vi added ice skating, trapping, hunting, and snowmobiling to her list of things to do.
As a long-time faithful member of Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Vi enjoyed singing in the choir, creating seasonal decorations for placement throughout the church, and truly loved getting together with her quilting friends to provide quilts to Lutheran World Relief, as well as submitting quilts to benefit local raffles. Several local residents requested specifically- designed quilts for their family members, and Vi always said yes. Over the years, she made many wedding and birthday cakes, bridesmaid dresses, and cheerleading outfits. She was a gifted artist who had a knack for drawing and painting; even being selected to display her artwork in the North Dakota Booth at the All State Fair in Washington D.C. Her flower gardens were her passion, whether on the farm, at the lake, or her home in Wahpeton. All who saw her gardens, marveled at them. Vi never met a weed she didn’t want to pull! She truly had a green, green thumb.
A long-time bowler, she participated in several leagues over the years. Most recently, hitting two strikes and a number of spares on the day before her 90th birthday. She was also an avid fan of the Minnesota Twins and would plan her day around their schedule. She rarely missed a game, sometimes even watching re-runs on the days they weren’t playing. Her trips to Target Field were always a highlight, especially when her favorite player, Joe Mauer, was in the game.
To say the least, Vi was a very talented, busy, caring, and active lady. She was a great Mom, Grandmother, and Great-Grandmother who always showed unconditional love to her family and cherished her time spent with them. She will be missed so very much.
She is survived by her children, Teresa Palomino, Vadnais Heights, MN, Rose (Russ) Adair, Forest Lake, MN, Jim (Karen) Merchant, Billings, MT, and Brenda Keller, Katy, TX; her grandchildren, Ben (Melissa) Adair, Ashley Brano, Michael Merchant, and Jessica Palomino; her great-grandchildren, Liam Adair, Rylen Adair, Chase Brano, Ryley Brano, Ava Cain, nieces, nephews, and other family members. Vi was preceded in death by her husband of over 52 wonderful years, Donnie Merchant, and several other family members.
Friday, January 14, 2022
5:00 - 7:00pm (Central time)
Friday, January 14, 2022
Starts at 7:00pm (Central time)
Saturday, January 15, 2022
Starts at 2:00pm (Central time)
Emmanuel Lutheran Church (Abercrombie, ND)
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