Merrilee S. Nielsen

Merrilee Sharon Nielsen, 77, of Grand Forks, passed away on Friday, September 10, 2021, at Altru Hospital in Grand Forks.

Merrilee was born the daughter of Lawrence and Sylvia (Anderson) Lerbakken on October 9, 1943, at Williston, ND. She grew up on a farm in Corinth, North Dakota and graduated from Wildrose High School where she was a majorette and played in the school band. She attended and graduated from Minot State University where she met her husband, Larry, of 52 years, and they were married September 3, 1966.

Merrilee was a teacher after graduating college and then became a homemaker. She enjoyed raising her three boys and driving them to all their sporting activities which she loved to watch especially hockey.

Merrilee enjoyed fishing, going to movies, listening to music, shopping and decorating her home. Merrilee loved spending her winters in Arizona with her husband. She enjoyed watching her grandchildren’s sports and activities. Merrilee cherished spending her time with family and grandkids. She will be greatly missed by her family and friends.

Merrilee is survived by her sons, Brent (Cathy) Rapid City, SD, Lance (JoDee) Minot, ND and Wade (Sarah) Clear Lake, IA; grandchildren, Hunter, Ella, Tucker and Ashlyn; sister, Lalon Penka University Place, WA and a brother, Rik Lerbakken Tacoma, WA and nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband and parents.

Memorials may be directed to Calvary Lutheran Church.

Funeral Service: 11 a.m. Friday, September 17, 2021 at Calvary Lutheran Church in Grand Forks, ND, with visitation one hour prior to the service in the church. Face coverings are required for the services.

An online register book may be signed at

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