• Date Of Birth: November 1, 1922
  • Date Of Death: January 18, 2016
  • State: Montana

Merle Marie Harris, 93, of Bigfork, passed away on Monday, January 18, 2016.  A

Merle was born November 1, 1922 in McGregor, CO to Earl and Verna Harrell. Her

family moved to Kalispell when she was 6 years old.  Later they moved to Bigfork where

her father worked as an operator at the Bigfork powerhouse.  She met the love of her life,

Fred William Harris, in 1938 while they were both working at Park Hills Boys Camp that is now Flathead Lake Lodge.  Merle graduated from Bigfork High School. She and Fred married on her 18th birthday in 1940.

Merle was a wonderful homemaker and mom to her two sons, Chuck and David. The family loved to come home to the smell of her baking. She was very active in the boys’ lives.  She was one of the first Cub Scout Den mothers in Bigfork. She loved teaching swimming and taking the kids on outings. Camping vacations in all of the western states and Canada produced many good family memories. 

Merle and Fred both loved music and dancing.  The boys enjoyed watching them square dance and listening to Fred often call the dances.

  For several summers, Merle worked for Eva Gates Preserves. Later in her life she worked at the Flathead County voting polls for many years.

  Merle was a lifetime member of the Rebecca Lodge and served as the Montana state president, which took her to every corner of the state.  She was also a member of the Lady Lions and enjoyed working the concession booth at the Northwest Montana fair.

  Merle had a delightful sense of humor that produced a joyful laugh.

  Merle is survived by Chuck and Betty Harris of Ferndale and David and Jean Harris of Great Falls, 6 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren.   She was preceded in death by her husband Fred Harris, parents Earl and Verna Harrell, 2 sisters and 2 brothers.

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