Delbert J. Merkel, 88, of Billings passed away at his home on June 30, 2020, from cancer. He was born in Ashley, North Dakota, on July 26, 1931, to John and Eva (Klipfel) Merkel. Delbert was the seventh of 12 children. He married Joyce Anderson on June 29, 1952, in Ellendale, North Dakota. They farmed west of Ellendale until 1962. Shortly thereafter, he purchased a gravel truck, starting a 31-year career in road construction.
He worked on missile sites in North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana. In addition to road construction, he worked on numerous airports and the Landusky-Zortman Mine in northern Montana. He worked in Shelby and Kalispell before moving to Billings in 1969. After retiring in 1993, he and his wife would frequently travel to Arizona with friends.
Delbert was a member of the Teamsters Union, as well as stints as an Elks Club member and a member of the Eagles Club. He also was a league bowler at Heights Lanes in the early 1970s.
Survivors include daughter Pam (Tom) Brendgord, Billings; granddaughters Crystal (Dan) Friedrich, Shepherd, Lindsey (Tyrel) Obrecht, Turner, Amy (Lennie) Torres, Nampa, Idaho; six great-grandchildren; eight great-great-grandchildren; sister Jannette Coombs, Melbourne, Florida; and sister Eunice Kiihn, Marshall, Minnesota; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 50 years, Joyce; son Keith; six brothers, Raymond, Marvin, Art, Paul, Delaine and Thomas; and three sisters, Ella, Erma and Edith.
Cremation has taken place. Graveside services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 25, at Yellowstone Valley Memorial Park, with a celebration of life at the VFW Club, 637 Anchor, Billings, at 3 p.m.
The family would like to thank the RiverStone Health Hospice team, Danielle, Jessica, Judy, Lynn, Louise, Noelle and Manny for all their care and support. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to RiverStone Health Hospice at 123 S. 27th Street, Billings, MT 59101.
We will love and miss you. Please give grandma and Keith hugs from us. Every hour is now happy hour.