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Alice Eleanor Merrill

Alice Eleanor Merrill

Alice Eleanor (Arola) Merrill, 94, of Walker, MN, passed away Sunday, January 22, 2017 at Trillium in WoodsEdge in Bemidji, MN. Peacefully, she went home to be with her Lord.

Alice was born September 3, 1922 to John and Amelia (Czarnetzke) Arola, the second of six children. On July 30, 1941, she married Bill Merrill while they were working at the Moose Lake Mental Hospital. Alice and Bill also worked together at Ah-Gwah-Ching. Bill enlisted in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Hearne, Texas. Alice moved to Geneva, Nebraska, where their daughter, Roine was born. After Bill's discharge from the army, the family moved back to Minnesota.

Alice worked many jobs in Walker and was well known. She started working at the Corner Bus Depot, which was located across the street from her home. She worked for the Walker physician, Dr. Brown, the town dentist, Dr. Muskine; and at Ah-Gwah-Ching as one of the night nurses. Her last Walker job was as matron and cook at the Cass County jail for 10 years, where her husband was the county sheriff.

Alice remained in Walker after her husband's death in 1986 until 1993 when she moved to Pine River, Minnesota. She was active at First Lutheran Church in Pine River as a member and avid quilter, and she also volunteered as a "Classroom Grandma" for the Pine River-Backus Elementary schools. In 2014, she moved to Bemidji to the Sanford Health WoodsEdge Windsong and Trillium living community where she lived until her death.

Alice loved her gardens of flowers and vegetables and enjoyed sharing her produce with friends and neighbors. She was a master seamstress and made many beautiful wedding gowns, prom dresses, and whatever needed to be sewn. She enjoyed tole painting, rose mauling, oil painting, hand sewing, and church quilt making. She was an excellent cook and a dedicated volunteer. She was a member of the Walker Post of the American Legion Auxiliary. Alice's faith in God was important to her and was a source of her happiness throughout her life.

Surviving Alice are her daughter, Roine (Merle) Cunningham; grandchildren, Nicholle (Eric) Bieberdorf and Christopher (Karla) Cunningham; great-grandchildren, Laura, Ryan, and Aaron Bieberdorf, and Avery and Jordan Cunningham; brothers, Leon Arola and Wilfred "Bill" Arola. She was preceded in death by her husband, Bill; and three sisters.

Services were held at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, January 29, 2017 at the Dennis Funeral Home Chapel. Pastor Andrew Ronnevik officiated. Interment was in the Evergreen Cemetery, Walker, MN. Arrangements are being made with Dennis Funeral Home of Walker (www.dennisfuneralhome.com). Memorials will be shared with youth ministries of First Lutheran Church in Pine River and Calvary Foundation of Calvary Lutheran Church in Bemidji.

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