January 4, 1925 – May 20, 2019
Merry Kelpin died on May 20, 2019 in Nelson. She passed peacefully with her family at her bedside.
Merry was born on the family’s farm near Verigin, Saskatchewan on January 4, 1925 to Michael and Mary (nee Konkin) Zeibin. She attended the Whitesand Valley School, becoming literate in both English and Russian. In her late teens Merry pursued her dream of being an artist and seeing more of the world.
True to her lifelong independent nature, she registered her own birth, spelling her name as she pleased. She then attended the Winnipeg Art School, and for a while worked for a photographer colouring black & white prints. She married Paul (Mike) in 1947, devoting themselves to each other in a lifelong love affair. His work took them to isolated northern communities where for several years she ran her household with no running water, no electricity, and a wood stove, attributing her ability to having been raised on a farm.
She loved to make food, and always had a garden, picked wild berries and harvested fruit for canning and juice. Her tomatoes were often winners at the Pass Creek Fall Fair. She became a productive member of the Selkirk Weavers and Spinners Guild, selling her intricate towels and runners around the world. She also inherited her mother’s rag rug loom, which has been donated to the Brilliant Cultural Centre.
Merry’s family were the fortunate recipients of her endless love and attention. Her children and grandchildren were always warmly welcome in her home, for as long as they wanted. She loved having friends and relatives visit, particularly if they played Scrabble. Merry is remembered for her smile, her enthusiasm, her curiosity, and her generosity of spirit. We miss her dearly.
Merry is survived by brother Sam (Pauline), son Brault (Vangie), grandson Sem (Beth), great-grandchildren Niya and Shae, step-great-grandchildren Jessica, Maverick and Ana, granddaughter Siri (Ian), great-grandsons Eli and Emmett, son-in-law Dave, grandson Dana (Jessica), great-granddaughter Piper, and granddaughter Moriah (Derek). She is predeceased by two siblings in infancy, brother Mike, daughter Tania, and husband Paul. Merry and Paul will be interred in Kinnaird Cemetery in Castlegar at a private ceremony in July.
Merry’s family is grateful for the care provided by the staff of Mountain Lake Senior Community and LaViva Seniors Living, and for the medical care she received from Dr. Trevor Janz.
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