Grace Marie Merkel
January 2, 1933 – June 21, 2021
Grace learned devotion of family from her parents and eight siblings. She graduated from high school, pitched on a woman’s softball team, and was employed at Lear Seigler, where she was very proud of the fact that she worked on gyros that were used by NASA’s Gemini program. Lear Seigler is where she met her first husband, Gene. After renovating an old farmhouse, she was able to move to the peaceful pace of rural living, where she gardened and canned food for her family. She had a passion and talent for music, specifically blue grass, which only grew stronger with each passing year. People loved to listen to Grace sing and play her guitar and mandolin. When not at home with her family, she enjoyed live music and dancing with her second husband of 28 years, Gib. Grace was a cherished and devoted mother, grandmother, and wife. She made the best pies, never met a baby she didn’t love, and was a health nut and an upcycler/recycler before it was fashionable. Life was precious to her and she protected those she loved. She disliked thunderstorms, being too far from home, and being wasteful. Comfortable in jeans, and not a fan of dresses, she was a sports fan - especially those involving her children. Grandchildren’s memories include Legos, making macaroni and cheese, and learning how to ride two-wheel bikes, pump gas, and properly swing a baseball bat.
Grace was preceded in death by parents Clarence Barrett and Velma Irene (Andrews) Barrett; husband, Eugene Gordon Ash; stepson, Paul James Ash; cousin, Emma DeCamp; siblings Lionel (Jeannie) Barrett, Melvin (Betty) Barrett, Ernie (Olga) Barrett, Melvin (Helen) Barrett, Floyd Barrett, Stanley (Mary) Barrett, Raymond (Betty); brothers-in-law Charlie Burden and Jim Kunard. She will be lovingly remembered by her husband, Gilbert Merkel; children Susan Lynn (Rod) Zeinstra, Gordon Wayne (Mary Jo) Ash, James Edward Ash; stepson, Craig (Barbara) Ash; grandchildren Jason (Dana) Zeinstra, Megan (Brian) Sager, Ben (Carrie) Ash, Andy (Megan) Ash, Grace (Zach) Hettinger, Kasandra (Brandon) Berens, Kristin (Levi) Demann, Brent Ash, Nicki Ash. She will also be missed by great-grandchildren Aidan, Noah, Emma Zeinstra; Grant and Paige Sager; Mackenzie Ash, Drew, Trevor, baby girl (September 2021) Ash; Hunter, Hadley, Harper Hettinger; Allex, Brady Lane Berens; Lawson Demann; Dakota and Jeremiah Ash; as well as adored cousin, Ronald DeCamp and siblings Velma Burden and Dorothy Kunard.
Grace, Mom, Grandma will be missed more than she could have ever imagined, leaving a legacy in each of our lives.
A graveside service will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, June 24, 2021 at South Martin Cemetery. In memory of Grace and in lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Green Acres of Wayland or Wings of Hope Hospice.
- Green Acres of Wayland
- Wings of Hope Hospice
Thursday, June 24, 2021
Grace Marie Merkel
July 15, 2021
I am so sad to hear this news. I just found out.
How to pick one memory about this amazing lady. My favorite is watch Hee Haw with her and trying to make our feet dance like theirs.
It will always be one of my greatest honors to have been a small part of her life.
My heart goes out to Gib and the entire family. ❤️
July 9, 2021
I'm so sorry to hear about your loss I took care of grace as a in home care provider first second an third shift she was a amazing women glad I got to hear her sing play catch in her fro t roo. Listening to her laugh so hard at times grib was a amazing husband my condolences Melissa from alliance in home care
July 9, 2021
I remember when I was Grace's caregiver we always had lots of laughs . Grace was such an amazing woman she will be missed dearly! Prayers for her family and friends 🙏 love Roni
June 23, 2021
Thank You mom from the bottom of my heart for everything you’ve done for me. You we’re always available for me. I remember you sitting down with me night after night after Dad and you finally received custody of me in 1957, helping me to learn to talked properly and the hours and hours you spent with me on my schoolwork. Thank You for your devotion and love in your helping Dad give me a future and stable life. Your Loving son Craig