Jerilyn Smith Merkley loving wife and mother, passed away on July 17th, 2020 peacefully and surrounded by her family after battling cancer on and off for 32 years. Jeri was born on October 12, 1958 in Denver, CO to Burton Smith and Judy Montgomery Kraft.
Jeri graduated from Uintah High School in 1977. She met the love of her life Glade Merkley on July 17, 1977 and married him 6 months later January 17th, 1978 in Las Vegas, NV. They lived in Roosevelt, UT where they owned and operated the ID bar and cafe. They later moved around the country while building gas pipelines before settling in Borger, TX where they owned and operated Wrangler Construction and Jeri got her Real Estate license. While in Borger they had two children: Clinton Glade Merkley and Jenell Lee Merkley Peters. After 23 years they returned to Vernal where they owned and operated CG Electrical and CG Power Rentals. In March of 2008 Jeri created, funded and started the Radiation Vacation Van that shuttled cancer patients from the Uintah Basin out to the Huntsman Cancer Center, free of charge, after she was in a car accident on her way out for treatment. She raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep the van running for over seven years. She retired in 2013 and split her time between Vernal and Las Vegas. Jeri enjoyed sports, painting, rock collecting, boating, traveling. She was also an award-winning gardener, and volunteer to her community.
Jeri was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. One of her greatest joys in life was her grandchildren. She was very giving and loving person. She will be deeply missed by her family and friends.
Jeri was preceded in death by her husband Glade Ohman Merkley and her father Burton Smith. She is survived by her mother Judy Montgomery Kraft, her children Clinton Glade Merkley and Jenell Lee Merkley Peters, grandchildren Brooklynn Nicole Peters and Dylan Ray Peters. Siblings Teresa Brown, Burton Smith (Nancy), Kim Zuniga (Julian) and dozens of aunts and uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Funeral Services will be held Thursday, July 23, 2020 at 11:00a.m. at the Phillips Ashley Valley Funeral Home. A viewing for family and friends will be held Wednesday evening from 6:00-8:00p.m. and Thursday 9:45-10:45a.m. at the Phillips Ashley Valley Funeral Home. Interment will follow at the Tridell Cemetery.
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