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Barbara Mertel

| January 11, 2007 11:00 PM

Barbara Jean Mertel, 73, of Burien, Wash., near Seattle died Friday, Dec. 8, 2006.

She was born Aug. 11, 1933, in Libby, the sixth of Mac and Betty Petrusha's eight children. Barb was raised and educated in Libby.

Barb in 1950 married Vic Mertel of Libby, who belonged to the Air Force. The early years of their marriage were spent traveling with the military.

Barb loved travel almost as much as Vic, and in his work for Boeing, they went extensively here and abroad. The Mertels later lived in Montana, South Dakota, California and Florida before settling in Seattle in 1962.

The travel continued when Vic retired and they saw the United States in their trailer. No matter where Barb was in the world, however, her heart was always with her children and family. Her special affinity for the young made her a popular aunt and grandmother.

Barb's greatest joy was her family. Her generous, loving heart and great sense of humor will be sorely missed.

Barb is survived by her husband; children Terri Wallick and her husband, Rick, Mike Mertel and his wife, Marla, and Jim Mertel and Mark Armstrong, all of Seattle, and John Mertel and Lisa Kodama in Canada; siblings Virginia Becker of Kalispell, Betty Earle and Bob Petrusha, both of Libby, Corrine Chistensen of McKinleyville, Calif., Darryl Petrusha of Redding, Calif., John Petrusha of Eureka, Calif., and Mike Petrusha of Westfir, Ore.; and five grandchildren.

A memorial mass was held Dec. 13.

Donations may be made to St. Bernadette Church, 861 SW 126 St., Burien, WA 98146.