Merilyn Mitchem

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Merilyn Ruth (Kurkowski) Mitchem, 93, of North Platte, Nebraska, passed away May 23, 2019, at North Platte Care Center.

She was born May 8, 1926 in Ogallala to Max R. and Irene C. (Lyon) Kurkowski. Her early years were spent in the Ogallala area. Schooling began in Ogallala and continued in Perkins County in several rural schools and eventually to Grant where she completed her education, graduating in 1943. 

During high school she was particularly active in music. She played in the band and orchestra, sang in chorus, glee club, small vocal groups as well as some solo work. She enjoyed good music of all kinds throughout her life. 

After high school, Merilyn was employed by Knotwell Drug Store and later by L.A. Sullivan Department Store.

Merilyn was baptized as a baby and later confirmed in the Congregational Church, accepting Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior for the remainder of her life.

In 1947, she was united in marriage with Gene Mitchem in Grant. They were blessed with one daughter, Gaylene.

Merilyn was active in her church, the church choir, American Legion Auxiliary, especially the Junior Auxiliary. She was also a 4-H club leader. Her special interests beyond music, were dancing, bowling, fishing on Lake McConaughy, crafts and watching her grandson, Jarod, play sports, especially tennis. She enjoyed them all until her failing health prevented her participation.

Merilyn was a faithful and devoted wife and a loving mother,  she will be sadly missed by all who knew her.

She is survived by her husband, Gene, of over 71 years of marriage. Their daughter, Gaylene Lombardi and a  very special son-in-law, Dennis Lombardi; granddaughter, Cyndi and her husband  Danny Griffiths; grandson, Jarod and his wife Joelle; great-granddaughters, Brookelyn Griffiths and Makenna Lombardi and many other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Max and Irene Kurkowski; two brothers, Paul and Eugene (Whitey) Kurkowski and a sister, Maxine Mizner.

Online condolences may be shared at A memorial has been established in her name.   

Services were held Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at Carpenter Memorial Chapel. Burial was in Ft McPherson National Cemetery near Maxwell. 

Carpenter Memorial Chapel is in care of arrangements.     

The Grant Tribune-Sentinel

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327 Central Ave in Grant
Grant NE 69140