Robert “Bob” Merchant

After a courageous battle with multiple myeloma, Robert “Bob” Merchant, 88, died peacefully on June 9, 2016 with family by his side. He was born Nov. 10, 1927 in Wahpeton, N.D., to parents Besse Pease Merchant and Roy Milton Merchant. He attended the North Dakota State School of Science in Wahpeton, enlisted in the Army during World War II, and attended the University of North Dakota. He married Constance “Connie” Alander on Nov. 13, 1949 in Warren, Minn. Cathy (1950) was born in Grand Forks, N.D., Rick (1954) was born in Marquette, Mich., and Christopher (1963) and Corey (1965) were born in Lewistown. They moved to Denver, Colo. and Hays, Kan. before moving to Great Falls, where Connie passed away on Oct. 28, 1988. Bob married a former classmate, Loretta “Birdie” Hatlie, on July 5, 1991 in Mound, Minn., and gained four more sons – Martin, Norton, Phil and Peter. Birdie passed away on Aug. 1, 2010. Bob moved to the Leisure World retirement community in Seal Beach, Calif., to be closer to family and resided there until his passing at the VA Long Beach Medical Center. A memorial service will be held at the Leisure World Community Church, 1400 Church Place, Seal Beach, CA 90740, on Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 10 a.m. He will be buried next to his first wife, Connie, in Great Falls, at a later date.

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