Merledene Marie Harrison Merledene passed away Sunday, September 26th, 2021 at a local facility in Pendleton, Oregon, from complications due to Alzheimer’s. She had just turned 93. She was born on September 23rd, 1928 in Spring Green Precinct, Wilsonville, Nebraska to Merl and Ada Rennecker. Merledene had an older sister by 2 years, Darlene (Dolly) and Bonnalyn (Bonnie) 2 years younger. Merledene began school at the age of 4 in a one room county schoolhouse near Beaver City, Nebraska. Herself and her older sister Dolly rode a Shetland pony, named Kewpie, 3 miles to school. When she turned six, her family moved to Pondosa, Oregon. She continued grade school at a school with three rooms and an auditorium. She finished 8th grade in Baker City, Oregon, 9th grade in John Day, Oregon and graduated from Hermiston High School in 1945. She continued her education at BMCC in Pendleton taking classes of interest: Legal Terminology, Cross-Country Skiing, Accounting, Basket Making and Astronomy. Merledene took on many jobs throughout high school including the Umatilla Army Depot, and Moore Theater in Hermiston. After graduation she spent time at Piersol Dry Cleaners. She was offered this job by the owner at her graduation ceremonies. At the age of 17, she moved to Seattle, Washington and started work at Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Co., in the Long Distance Unit. After transferring to Pendleton with the telephone company, she worked as an operator and in the business office until resigning after 16 years. She spoke fondly of her time in Seattle. Working later for Joe Green CPA and doing “temp” work was very satisfying for her. She loved learning new skills! She married Harvey Lee Harrison on December 17th, 1955 in Pendleton and they had one daughter, Holly Lee Harrison. They made their home in Pendleton. Merledene enjoyed many hobbies including cooking, sewing, quilting, painting and reading. It was always important to her to continue learning! She enjoyed traveling. Her first trip was to Tahiti. She had a “Tahiti” fund and worked hard to save for this first trip. She also traveled to Australia, Germany, Thailand and many other places of interest. Finally her husband, Harvey got on board and they traveled together. One of her most enjoyable things to do was make costumes for the BMCC Community Theatre and she also volunteered at schools and organizations that helped people. After Holly was born, Merledene stayed home to raise her, but always continued to volunteer and do what she could. In 1993, she was surprised and honored to be recognized as “Woman of the Year”. She lived such an enriched life surrounded by her family and many, many friends. Manners, good grammar and meeting new acquaintances was important to her. She could type with fire in her fingers, cook a meal from scratch like nobody’s business and took pride in hand-writing letters and thank you notes. Her smile was contagious and she never knew a stranger. Before you knew it, you were sitting at their dinner table being served a home-cooked meal! Merledene is survived by her daughter Holly Harrison of Pendleton, two granddaughters, Kendall (Ryan) Hulce, Mallory Davis and one grandson, Mason Davis all of Pendleton, Oregon. Two great grandchildren, Peyton and Phoenix Hulce, and one on the way. She is preceded in death by her parents, her sisters and her beloved husband, Harvey, of nearly 63 years. Today, they are together again! Mom and Dad, I LOVE and MISS you dearly!
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