Merle Elliott

Funeral services for Merle Elliott were held on Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. at the St. Isidore Catholic Church in Colome with Father Kevin Achbach celebrant. Janette Shippy was cantor and Anne and Brian Williams ere lectors. Altar servers were Abby Pechota and Carleen Burger. Music was provided by Cindy Sealty, organist. DeEtte Lombard and Randi Stenson were in charge of registration and flower attendants were Lisa Meyer and Yvette Elliott. Urn bearers were Veronica Cooper and Mollie Donner. Military honors were conferred by Colome American Legion and the South Dakota National Guard honors program. Inurnment was in the Black Hills National Cemetery in Sturgis on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. MT. Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. Merle James Elliott was born July 14, 1929 on the family farm east of Colome. His parents were Chauncey and Mary (McElroy) Elliott. Merle attended rural Saathoff School and graduated from Colome High School in 1947. He then attended college. In 1948 Merle met his future wife, DeEtte Stenson, and they married on October 8, 1950. Merle entered the Army in 1951 and was stationed in Korea with the 25th Infantry Division. He also served with the 1st Marine Division and the Turkish Brigade. He spent eighteen months in Korea, returning to the States in 1953. Merle and DeEtte purchased a service station in Colome which they operated for three years. Merle then returned to college at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. When he finished with his studies there he and DeEtte moved their family to California where he graduated from San Francisco College of Mortuary Science with a degree in mortuary science. The family then moved to Santa Cruz, CA where he became associated with a mortuary there. After ten years, he sold his interest in the mortuary and having an associate degree in real estate appraising, he became a real estate appraiser until his retirement in 1991. Upon his retirement he and DeEtte traveled extensively for a year before moving to the Colome area where they built their retirement home. Merle enjoyed hunting, fishing, and traveling. While in California he and his fishing buddies would dive for abalone and fish for steelhead and salmon. Merle and DeEtte had a family of four children, Kathleen, Lance, Kevin, and Colleen. He was a grandpa of three grandchildren, Mollie (Jason) Donner, Mitchell Elliott, and Alec Nickolls, and four great grandchildren, Marissa, Jacob, Madelyn, and Jack Donner. Merle was a lifetime member of the Catholic Church having been baptized, confirmed, and married in St. Isidore’s Catholic Church in Colome. He was a lifetime member of the Colome American Legion and served on the Colome Township Board for many years. Merle was a member of the California Funeral Directors and Embalmers Association and a member of the American Institute of Appraisers. He was preceded in death by his parents; five brothers Charles, Harold, Delbert, Raymond, and Stanley; three sisters Louise, Alma, and Darlene. Merle is survived by his wife of 66 years DeEtte, Colome; his four children Kathleen Nickolls, Reno, NV, Lance (Michelle) Elliott, Santa Cruz, CA, Kevin Elliott, Rapid City, and Colleen (Ron) Conway, Minden, NV; three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

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