Merrilyn C. “Merry” Roberts, 95, of Billings, passed away Sunday, March 14, 2021, of complications related to stroke. She was born August 19, 1925, in Missoula, MT, the daughter of Carey and Edith Wentz.
Merry lived an incredibly long and fruitful life. She graduated from the University of Montana in the spring of 1946 with a degree in Journalism. She edited the school newspaper and wrote for several other publications. She was also an active member of the Delta Gamma Sorority. In August of 1946, she married a handsome flyboy, John S. “Jack” Roberts, whom she had met on campus, and shortly thereafter, they moved to Bozeman so Jack could finish school. In Bozeman, Merry gave birth to the first of 10 children while living in married student housing. Her early years of marriage were spent moving her ever-growing family from town to town and city to city, both in Montana and all over the Midwest, following Jack’s job with Conoco. The family finally settled in Billings in 1959.
Throughout her life, Merry showed an unwavering love and devotion for her husband and children. She was giving birth every two to three years on average, so there wasn’t a lot of time for anything else!! The family home on Hoover Avenue was a natural gathering place for some 25 children of all ages who grew up in that neighborhood, and many considered her their second mom. Merry was happiest when there were children about, and her natural grace and cheery disposition was apparent to all who met her. In later years, as children started to leave the roost, Merry worked in a neighbor’s gift shop for over 20 years. She also volunteered at the local St. Vincent DePaul thrift store and stayed active at St. Thomas Parish. She remained loyal to the Delta Gamma organization all these years, attending luncheons and other events whenever possible. Never one to sit idle, she spent any spare time she did have gardening and keeping a tidy house. She and Jack were married for almost 52 years before Jack’s untimely passing in 1998. Even after becoming widowed, Merry stayed active in her children and grandchildren’s lives, attending countless ballgames, weddings, social gatherings and family events. She traveled to the family cabin on Swan Lake many times, including this past summer. Merry was a kind and giving person, effervescent and selfless, almost to a fault. She will be dearly missed by all.
Merrilyn is survived by her five daughters and three sons: Linda Lee (Bill) of Federal Way, WA, Michael (Shane) of Three Forks, MT, Timothy (Marie) of Henderson, NV, Carol Pottruff (Kerry), Margaret Steffes (Marty “Joe”), B. Thomas, Shauna Kuehn (Mike), and Melanie Hanser (Shawn), all of Billings; daughter-in-law, Cindy Roberts Tovey, of Boise, ID; and 20 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Jack; son, David; an infant daughter, Patricia; and her son-in-law, Mike Kuehn.
Until we meet again, Mom… “love you, love you…”
The Rosary will be prayed at 2:30 pm followed by a Vigil Service at 3:00 pm on Sunday, March 28th, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary, followed by a Celebration of Life at the Columbia Club, 2216 Grand Ave. The Funeral Mass will be held at 10:00 am on Monday, March 29th, at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church.
Please join the family for rosary and vigil service 2:30pm Sunday March 18, 2021
The Funeral Mass will be 10:00am Monday, March 29, 2021 at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church.