GRAND ISLAND -- Merlyn J. Andrews, 84, died Saturday (Jan. 2, 2010), surrounded by family at her home in Grand Island.
A Celebration of Life service is being planned for the weekend of Easter. A future notice will run in the newspaper.
All Faiths Funeral Home of Grand Island is serving the family.
Merlyn Andrews was born on Nov. 8, 1925, to Robert E. and Edith M. Anderson in Meriden, Kan.
She was preceded in death by her parents; two sisters, Thelma and Chloe; and her loving husband Howard D. Andrews.
Survivors are son and daughter-in-law, Dr. Steven and Sue Andrews, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.; daughter and son-in-law, Susan and Lanny Thomsen, Grand Island; son and daughter-in-law, Randy and Peg Andrews, McCook, and daughter and son-in-law, Judy and Mike McKee, Parkville, Mo.
Also surviving are her six grandchildren, Dawn Stock, Braden Manolidis, Stacy Duplush, Shannon Pike, Scott Andrews and Howard McKee; and five great-grandchildren, Tristan, Madelyn and Andrew Stock, Morgan Pike, Cooper Manolidis. Also many step-grandchildren and step-great grandchildren and her beloved dog "Sugar".
The first 12 years of her life were spent in Meriden, Kan., where her father was the postmaster. The family then moved to Topeka, Kan., where the family owned a restaurant and gasoline station. Highlights of her school years included playing guard on her basketball team, performing in school plays and choirs and High School cheerleading. Following graduation from Seaman Rural High School in 1943, she attended Stricklers Business College in Topeka, Kan. She worked as a comptometer operator for the Sante Fe Railroad for 3 years. During that time she performed with the "Three J's," a trio that entertained World War II veterans at hospitals, officer clubs and at the Jay Hawk Theater and local radio stations.
She was united in marriage to Howard D. Andrews, Aug. 30, 1946, at Seaman Community Church in Topeka. The couple made their home in Topeka before moving to Manhattan, Kan., where Howard attended Kansas State University. They moved to Nebraska, living in McCook for 25 years and Grand Island for 35 years where Howard was employed by the U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Reclamation as a soil scientist and economist. Merlyn worked as a grade school secretary, church secretary.
Raising four children brought forth many of Merlyn's talents. She was active in the Girl Scouts of America, serving as leader in the Brownie and Girl Scout troops for her daughters. She served as a Cub Scout leader for her sons. She was proud of the high achievements of her children. She was an active member of the Methodist Church in McCook and Grand Island serving as a leader in the women's circle, church choir. She served as Worthy Matron of Roberta Chapter of the Eastern Star at Indianola. She served as President of the Past Worthy Matron's of Grand Island. She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Merlyn was an avid bridge player and "13." In 1980 she began her acting career in the GILT production of "My Fair Lady." She later performed in many plays for the Picadilly Dinner Theater. She was a model for the Grand Island Trend Board at the Conestoga Mall. She took up violin at the age of 60 playing with a string quartet at nursing homes and clubs in Grand Island. In 1988, she and Howard began bicycling and completed the BRAN twice and rode their bikes through Scotland and England. She was a huge avid husker football, volleyball and woman's basketball fan.
Merlyn was the inspiration and cheerleader for her family and many friends. She was our "joy" and we were blessed to have her as our Mother.
Memorials may be made to Trinity United Methodist Church or the Liederkranz.
Condolences may be sent to www.giallfaiths.com