Cover photo for Merla Jean Harrison's Obituary
Merla Jean Harrison Profile Photo
1949 Merla Jean 2023

Merla Jean Harrison

July 1, 1949 — December 28, 2023


The Wonderful Life of Merla Jean (Baumann) (Howe) Harrison

Merla Jean (Baumann) (Howe) Harrison, 74, passed away into the welcoming arms of her Savior on December 28th, 2023, at Sanford Hospital, surrounded by her loving family.

Merla Jean was born July 1st, 1949, in Windom, MN, to Walter and Doris (Cleland) Baumann, and grew up on their family farm in Lakefield, MN. Merla Jean was united in marriage to Douglas Howe on October 15th, 1966. They celebrated 37 years of marriage until Doug’s untimely passing in 2004. From this union, brought seven children, 29 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren.

 Merla Jean was a devoted mom and grandma who lived and breathed her family. Merla Jean graduated from Le Suer High School in 1966. She continued her education at Worthington Community College and graduated with her LPN degree in 1984. She worked as a nurse in many fields, until she retired as a hospice nurse in December, 2020, where she made a positive impact on the lives of all the families she served.

Merla Jean was united in marriage to Ken Harrison on August 24th, 2013. They celebrated 10 years of marriage this year and enjoyed taking care of their hobby farm together. Merla Jean loved spending time with her children and grandchildren more than anything, which was the biggest joy of her life. She was blessed to be able to live close by her children and grandchildren, to be a very active part of their lives. Merla Jean loved gardening, tending to her
houseplants, spending time in her kitchen cooking, baking, and canning, and taking care of her chickens and animals on the farm.

Merla Jean was an active member of her church, Lord of Life Lutheran Church, and loved being on the worship team with her daughter and granddaughters.
Her church family truly became family to her and was an integral part of her life. Merla Jean had a deep love for Jesus and spreading the Gospel to others. She lived out her faith in everyday life and was the most selfless, compassionate, and loving woman who will forever be missed.

Merla Jean is survived by her husband, Ken Harrison, along with her seven children: Sunday (Bruce) Roozenboom, Stacey (Chad) Hokeness, Melissa Woolsey, Ryan (Jessica) Howe, Allison (Levi) Edwards, Andrea (Daniel) Letze, and Alexis Howe, along with her grandchildren Breann (Josh), Kadie (Logan), Brooklyn; Haley (Brandon), Jackie (Matt), Rylie (Jake), Carter; Kyle, Sierra, Kristen, Keith, and Caleb; Samantha, Anna, Josie, Dash; Lacie, Mason, Kailee, Mylie, Hazon, Oakleigh, and Hadley; Maddie, Avery, Kaden, Bristol, and Jaxon; three great- grandchildren Bristlyn, Briar, and Stetsen; three sisters, Lanell Rossow; Myleen (Kurt) Swanson;  Helane (Nyles) Gentz; and five brothers, Walter Jr. (Mary Lou) Baumann; Randy (Deb) Baumann; Brent (Mary Beth) Baumann; Karl Baumann; Guy (Susan) Baumann.

Merla Jean is preceded in death by her parents, Walter and Doris Baumann; sister, Julie Baumann; brother-in-law, Dennis Rossow; sister-in-law, Gloria Baumann; great niece, Grace Baumann; great nephew, Isaac Baumann; and granddaughter, Evie Edwards.

A celebration of life will be held at Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls, SD, at 9:00 am on Sunday, December 31st, 2023. Refreshments will be held after the service, followed by a committal service at 11:00 am at Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Sioux Falls, SD.

In Iieu of flowers, please consider sending memorials to Sioux Falls Lutheran School, in memory of Merla Jean Harrison.


Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Sunday, December 31, 2023

9:00 - 10:00 am (Central time)

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Sunday, December 31, 2023

11:00 - 11:30 am (Central time)

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