Merna Jean Strathman, 86, Abbotsford, died March 5, 2017, at Colonial Center Rehabilitation Center in Colby.
Merna was born in Rockford, Ill., to Fayne and Fern (Barker) Moore. Her grandparents raised her when her mom died of scarlet fever when she was very young, while her siblings lived with other relatives and friends.
She graduated from Dor-Abby in 1947. She then worked at Abbotsford Phone Exchange.
She married Eugene Strathman on Jan. 22, 1955, in Waukegan, Ill., afterwards they moved to Abbotsford. He died Oct. 4, 2012.
Merna worked at St. Joseph’s Hospital as a switchboard operator and in the admitting dept. When the hospital made the move to the new addition, she worked in the telecommunications dept. for 45 years, retiring in 2010. She also was the organist for First Presbyterian Church in Abbotsford, the United Church of Christ in Colby and Dorchester, the First Presbyterian Church in Marshfield, and played for many weddings in the area. She was a lifetime member of the Colby VFW Post No. 2227 Auxiliary and also the treasurer for the Abbotsford Cemetery Association.
She is survived by six children, Fred (Roma), Hyattsville, Md., Martha (Roger) Ried, Colby, Tom (Kim), Winthrop Harbor, Ill., Mary (Tracy) Sanders, Abbotsford, Marcy (Steve) Amundson, Abbotsford, and Joan (Eugene) Jensen, Unity; 16 grandchildren, Steve, Mark (Nina), Nathan, Nick, Noah (Codi), Russell (Sierra), Michael, Boone, Seth, Connor, Kasha, Zelly, Kara, Ian, Gunner and Clayton; and nine great-grandchildren; a sister, Bonnie Henry, O’Fallon, Mo.; nieces and nephews; other relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Eugene; grandsons, Roger, Robert and Sean Ried; a sister, Mae Leona Bates; and a brother, Barker Douglas Moore.
A memorial service will be held at noon on Friday, March 17, 2017, at the First Presbyterian Church, Abbotsford. The Rev. Marcia Thomas will preside. Family and friends are welcome from 10 a.m. until the time of service Friday at the church.
The Maurina-Schilling Funeral Home in Abbotsford is assisting the family with the arrangements.
Family and friends may express condolences online at www.maurinaschilling.com.