February 8, 1936 – June 18, 2020
It is with profound sorrow that we announce the passing of Merle Irene Jane Hellingman (nee McAlister) June 18, 2020 In Red Deer Alberta.
Mom was born February 8, 1936 in the small town of Gull Lake, Saskatchewan to parents Anna Velma McAlister & Walter James McAlister. Mom was the third child of four siblings. Mom loved school but living on a farm 3-1/2 miles from the one room school house in the country wasn’t without adventure especially riding a horse with her brother to get there. She later attended school in Thompkins, SK and excelled in most if not all for her subjects. Mom and Dad married in Medicine Hat, AB and later moved to Calgary, AB. Mom started a career at Sears in the customer service department. While living in Calgary she welcomed her two boys Gregory and Bradley into the world. After leaving Calgary the family took on the task of buying and running a furniture and appliance store in central Alberta. In the early 70s they relocated to Kamloops, BC where mom found her calling doing income tax for H&R Block. After relocating to Red Deer, Mom worked at the H&R Block offices in Rocky Mountain House and Sylvan Lake. Eventually she bought the Sylvan Lake office and built up a large group of loyal repeat customers. Even after she sold the office she continued to work there capping off her forty plus year career working in the income tax business. This included the 2019 tax filing season until her passing. Mom enjoyed her yearly visits with her long time clients and always looked forward to them returning next tax season.
Merle is survived by her sons Gregory (Diana) and Bradley, grandsons Sean and Chad of whom she was extremely proud. She is also survived by her sister Sheila Burton, numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. Merle also leaves behind her very special
friend Rochelle Bishop (Trev) whom Merle thought of as the daughter she never had. Merle was predeceased by her parents Walter and Anna McAlister, sister Lillian Garberg, brother Russell McAlister, sister in-law Ann McAlister and brother- in-laws Benny Garberg and Glen Burton.
Due to the COVID pandemic there will be no service at this time. A service will be held when times are safer.
Any donations in Merle’s honour can be made to Stars Air Ambulance. (stars.ca)
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