Joan Theresa Kunkel Merriman, age 97, of Delano, passed away Monday, Dec. 11, 2017.
A Mass of the Resurrection will take place Saturday, June 30 at 11 a.m. at St. Peter Catholic Church in Delano, with a rosary to begin at 8:45 a.m., and visitation from 9 to 11 a.m. Inurnment will follow at Calvary Cemetery.
Donations may be made to the American Heart Association or charity of your choice.
Arrangements are with the Iten Funeral Home in Delano.
Joan was born March 10, 1921, in Delano, the eighth and last child of Charles and Theresa (Pogreba) Kunkel.
She attended St. Peter Catholic School through eighth grade, and graduated from Delano High School.
Joan was baptized, received her first Holy Communion, was confirmed into the Catholic faith, and married Allen Merriman in St. Peter Catholic Church in Delano.
She worked in the office of the Delano Granite Works, and then worked for 18 years as a legal secretary in Delano, leaving that position to move to Hemet, CA to be with family.
Starting a new life in Hemet, she and Allen (Moon) managed a mobile home park until his death in 1994.
Joan was extremely patriotic, and in the late 1950s, she joined the Delano American Legion Auxiliary and served as president for two years. In 1976, she was elected president of the 10th District and led the district to an all-time high membership, traveling 9,000-plus miles by car throughout the district. She attended national conventions in Seattle and Denver, and, in 1977, served as Department of Minnesota Communication chairperson.
Always wanting to be involved in helping others, she joined the Altar and Rosary Society at Our Lady of the Valley Church, and soon after, was chosen to serve as parliamentarian for approximately 30 years. She also held other offices in that organization, serving as president three times.
She began attending meetings of the Riverside Deanery and the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women with other Altar and Rosary Society friends, and served as president of both organizations, as well as serving on the parish council. She became a member of the hospitality (greeters) group, and was an Eucharistic minister.
Joan was a member of Church Women United and served as parliamentarian. She also helped support the church by playing bingo weekly, as health enabled.
The Hemet Hospital Auxiliary opened a gift shop in 1983, and she joined that organization, volunteering in the gift shop for 10 years and was awarded a life membership. Joan outlived three other organizations in Hemet the Catholic Daughters, the Columbianettes, and Concerned Senior Citizens of Hemet, serving as vice president for that organization.
In addition to her husband, Allen (Moon), Joan was preceded in death by her parents; and seven siblings.
She is survived by her daughter, Linda Merriman (Edward) Wetter; son, Jeffrey; as well as grandsons Dean (Michelle) Wetter, Dustin (Nomi) Wetter, and Patrick Merriman and granddaughter, Gina Merriman Meinhardt.
Joan lived to enjoy four great-grandchildren: Megan, Monroe, Brady and Baylor, who fondly called her GG (great-grandma); as well as many nieces and nephews, whom she loved dearly.