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Merilyn Ronzheimer Richie, 80

Merilyn Ronzheimer Richie was born on May 23, 1928, to parents Myles and Mable Ronzheimer in Valley City, N.D.

An aspiring musician, Merilyn became quite the entertainer in her home town, where at the age of 16, she performed her own vocal recital. Her musical abilities did not stop there. Merilyn was an accomplished pianist who also played the clarinet and the accordion.

Family reunions would not have been the same without Merilyn's music.

At the age of 18, Merilyn attended Hamline Methodist University in St. Paul, where she met a handsome football player who had just returned from the war.

Samuel Joseph Richie, of Hudson became the love of her life and soul mate. They were married on June 14, 1947.

They moved to Miami, Fla., where they both became public school teachers.

Merilyn's teaching abilities were very diversified. She taught French, Spanish and home economics to young women with special needs. She taught at Pinecrest Elementary, Kenwood Elementary, South Dade Jr. High, Homestead Jr. High and finally as a reading disability teacher at Palmetto Jr. High. She was instrumental in choosing the name for Pinecrest Elementary School. Every student who met Mrs. Richie loved her. She always stood her ground, but taught with the love of Christ, which she shared with them all.

Even after her retirement, life was busy with God's work. She and Sam were involved in the Cursillo and Kairos Movement. Merilyn was an ambassador for her Lord and Savior, and shared his love and saving grace with everyone she met.

Her life would not have been complete without her two children, her daughter Terri Jo Richie Shikany and her son Eugene Richie. The joy continued with the addition of their wonderful spouses, Walter Shikany Jr. and Terri Parsons Richie.

She is also survived by her grandchildren Walter Shikany III, Michael Shikany, Tony Richie, Jamie Richie and Kelli Richie, as well as her loving nieces and nephews.

One final person who shared an important part in her life is her best friend and sister, Joyce Christmas Bailey.

A special thanks from her entire family to her special care taker and new family member, Coriline White.

Merilyn joined her husband, Sam, on July 9, 2008, five years to the day that he went to heaven.

Funeral services were Saturday, July 12, in Miami, Fla.

To God be the glory for Merilyn, for her love, devotion and the imprint her life will leave upon the hearts of all who have had the honor of knowing her.