Nancy Eloise (Fewell) Merkle, age 99 of Odessa went to be with her Lord and Savior on Thursday evening, Dec. 7, 2017 at 8:51 p.m.
Merkle was born on Sept. 8, 1918 in Dallas. She graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in Dallas in 1937 and attended Texas Tech University from 1937 – 1940. She graduated from Southern Methodist University in 1941 and later obtained her Master’s Degree from Sul Ross State University. After graduating from SMU, she taught school in Dallas and married her beloved Ralph in 1943. After his return from World War II, they moved to Fort Stockton and then to Balmorhea, where they lived for 20 years. Merkle farmed with her husband and taught school part of the time. They then moved back to Fort Stockton and she resumed her teaching until she retired in 1984 after a 30-year teaching career.
Merkle loved times spent with her family and friends, playing bridge in numerous bridge clubs, and extensive traveling. She was a long-time member of Balmorhea and Fort Stockton Baptist Churches, where she taught Sunday school classes off and on. Merkle treasured the memories of the many children she taught throughout the years and the friendship of the teachers with whom she taught. She will always be remembered for her gracious spirit, loving heart and quick wit.
Merkle is survived by her grandson, Christopher Brent Malcolm and wife, Wendy; granddaughter, Traci Michelle Washam and husband Jody; great-grandchildren, Krista, Brendon, Ashley, Cameron, Kelton, and Preston; and great-great granddaughter, Analena Jade. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews and their families.
Merkle is preceded in death by her parents, Benzie Ragsdale Fewell and Eloise Gillespie Fewell; her beloved husband of 60 years, Ralph Merkle; her loving daughters, Melinda Kay Browning and Susan Eloise Merkle; her sister and brother-in-law Drs. Mary and Rudolf Renfer; and great-niece, Lauri Wilson.
A celebration of Merkle’s life will be held on Friday, Dec. 15 graveside at East Hills Cemetery on E. Gonzalez St. in Fort Stockton at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to First Baptist Church of Fort Stockton.
A very special thank you to Maria Garcia and Veronica Lopez for their gracious and loving care of our grandmother, Nancy.