Merril Ione GULLINGSRUD
August 1, 1929 – November 7, 2020
Merril Ione Gullingsrud was born in Edinburg North Dakota on August 1, 1929 to Elmer & Anges (Morstad) Gullingsrud. She was their third child of five, Ordean, Carrie, Elroy & Gordon, all of whom have preceded her in death. She has 7 nieces and nephews, Herby, Karen, Kenneth, Bruce, Bob, Jill & Heidi. The family moved to Renton Washington in 1941. She graduated from Renton High School in 1947 and worked for a short time in an office in Seattle. During Merril’s teen years she accepted Jesus Christ as her savior and this was the beginning of a life-long relationship with Him as her God and Savior. While attending Prairie Bible School in Canada her tender heart was touched by the plight of many needy orphans in Haiti. So, she set off for Quebec where she spent a year learning French. Then, when she arrived in Haiti, she found that Creole was the language of the common people. So, she embarked on another language-learning experience, but this time not in a structured classroom. Instead she learned on-the-job, as housemother for 8 or 9 rambunctious little Haitian boys. Later, her language skills in both French and Creole allowed her to do translation work.
After returning to Renton she cared for her mother until her passing. She then worked in Newton’s Christian bookstore until it closed. At that time she was asked by Renton Bible Church to become part of their fulltime staff, which she did, until her retirement at age 80.
She loved to teach Bible studies, visit those who were sick in hospital or who needed help at home. She loved people, all people, but especially children. She helped many, many people to understand and receive Christ’s offer of forgiveness for their sins. A few weeks ago, Merril was watching a documentary about a group of people who were struggling during a famine and she said that she wished she had the strength to do it all over again. She still had that tender heart all the way up into her 90s.
She also retained her sense of humor. Just a few days before her death she was talking with one of her nephews and his family, identifying people in photos, recalling incidents, laughing and making jokes with that familiar little twinkle in her eye.
Memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.greenwoodmempark.com