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Mertie Charlene Bowen

Mertie Charlene Bowen
Mertie Charlene Bowen
- June 20, 2017

Mertie was born January 22, 1934, in New Underwood, SD, to Henry and Laura (Eveleth) Wildberger.


On July 12, 1953, in Sturgis, SD, Mertie was joined in marriage with Eugene Edward Bowen. They were married 38 years until Gene's death in 1991. To this union were born two daughters and one son.


Mertie spent her first four years in Union Center then in 1938 moved with her family to the Boulder Canyon ranch where she resided until her marriage. She attended Boulder Park School through sixth grade and her remaining school years at "town" school, graduating in 1951 from Sturgis High School. For a short time, Mertie worked at Sturgis Hospital. She was employed as a clerk at Black Hills Power and Light from 1963 to 1976 until health issues caused her to separate from the company. Mertie was a long-standing member of Grace Lutheran Church in Sturgis, SD, serving on the church council. She particularly enjoyed attending her ladies Bible studies. Mertie was also a long-standing member of the VFW auxiliary. In 2006, Mertie moved to Rapid City to live at the Echo Ridge assisted living complex. Mertie loved the sunshine, flowers, frogs and birds. She was an avid reader, a spirited Colorado Rockies fan and enjoyed a "mean" game of Scrabble, Rummikub, or Cribbage with her daughters, grandson, Charles, and friends.


Mertie Charlene Bowen, 83, was joyfully met by our Heavenly Father on June 18, 2017, at Fountain Springs Healthcare Center in Rapid City, SD.


Mertie is survived by daughters, Cathy (Gary) Svarstad of Rapid City and Mary Jo Cotter (Gary Jewell) of Kingsville, MO; her sisters, Twyla Huffman of Sturgis and Valda Yamada of Kent, WA; four grandsons; one granddaughter; nine great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Preceding her in death were her son, Charles; husband, Eugene; brother, Thomas; sister, Dorothea; her parents, Henry and Laura Wildberger; and grandson, Caine, Sr.


Visitation will be 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 25, at Kinkade Funeral Chapel in Sturgis.


Funeral services will be 10:00 a.m. Monday, June 26, 2017, at Grace Lutheran Church in Sturgis. Burial will follow at Black Hills National Cemetery.
A memorial has been established.



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