Our beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend, Gretta Merkley, passed peacefully on September 26, 2015. She struggled with many health challenges throughout her life and faced them with patience and courage. Gretta was born at home on July 27, 1940 in Parowan, Utah. Her parents were Delbert Ward and Arvilla Eyre Mortensen and she grew up surrounded by aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. She participated in cheerleading, drama and graduated Parowan High School and attended Southern Utah University.
Gretta married Wayne Bingham Merkley in Parowan on April 25, 1959 and they were later sealed in the St. George LDS Temple. They raised their family in Salt Lake City and Des Moines, Iowa where Wayne was a professor at Drake University.
While in Iowa, Gretta and Wayne served in the LDS Church and in their community. Gretta was appointed by Iowa Governor Robert Ray to serve on the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women which led to many opportunities to serve the women of Iowa, particularly those who had been incarcerated. Gretta was a strong believer in giving people a “second chance.” She served in many callings in the LDS Church and also supported Wayne in his profession and Church callings.
In 2007, Wayne and Gretta moved to Springville to enjoy their retirement years. Gretta is survived by her four children – Clark (Sheryl Sanders), Elaine, Brian (Leslie Crosland) and Jean – twelve grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Gretta is preceded in death by her sweetheart, Wayne, her parents, and her siblings Grant, Beulah and Milton.
Family and friends are invited to a visitation on Thursday, October 1 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Anderson & Sons Mortuary at 6141 West 11000 North (SR 92) in Highland, UT. A graveside service will be held on Friday, October 2 at 11:00 a.m. at the Beaver City Cemetery in Beaver, UT. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the LDS Church Perpetual Education Fund.
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American Fork Chapel
49 East 100 North
American Fork, UT 84003
Lone Peak Chapel
6141 West 11000 North
Highland, UT 84003