Merril Hoebelheinrich, 80

Thursday, January 6, 2022
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Merril Hoebelheinrich

Merril Albert Hoebelheinrich, 80, of Laurel, passed away on December 29, 2021 in Cody, WY.

Merril was born August 24, 1941 to Bernadine Weibel Hoebelheinrich and Urban Hoebelheinrich in Menominee, NE. He was the proud older brother to 9 siblings. Merril attended high school in Nebraska and graduated from Wynot, SD before joining the US Navy where he was stationed at Pearl Harbor. After leaving the service, he met and fell in love with Melba Wilson, who he married on August 24, 1963. The couple made their home in Winner, South Dakota, Sheridan, Wyoming, Buffalo Wyoming, and Forsyth Montana. They had three daughters: Michelle Renee, Nita Marie, and Tina Annette. The couple later divorced but remained friends and parents to their children.

Merril became employed at the Colstrip mine as a heavy equipment operator and would retire after 34 years of service. His favorite equipment was always the dragline but he was really a master at anything with tracks and a blade.

While living in Forsyth in the 1980’s, he met Cindy Simpson, who he married, later having a son, Dustin Merril. The family lived and operated a café in Rosebud until moving closer to Forsyth and schools as Dustin got older. Merril and Cindy enjoyed raising dogs, creating ceramics, and having horses. Dusty and Merril found a new hobby in cowboy shooting competitions but maintained their love of hunting and fishing. He loved sharing stories of hunting, fishing and riding. He enjoyed fishing with his brothers in law, Jerry and Chuck, Son in law Chad, Grandsons Jake and Chase, and Sister Karen. One of his fondest memories was an Elk hunt with his stepson Justin Simpson, just prior to Justin’s death in 1992. Cindy and Merril later divorced.

Throughout his life, Merril enjoyed speed and fast corners and channeled that love into stock cars and motorcycles. He found his true love in the Honda Goldwing. He rode thousands of miles and made many friends on his Goldwing adventures.

Merril is preceded in death by his parents, Bernadine and Urban, His Brothers Urban Jr. And Virgil, His sister Judy, His Children, Nita Marie and Dustin Merril, and numerous extended family members.

Merril is survived by brothers Gaylon (Cheri), Myron (Carole) Sisters Bonnie (Chuck) King, Marilyn (Dave) Fiedler, Kathy (Loren) Van Der Vliet, Karen (Jerry) Kolda. His Daughter Michelle (Chad) Lemmon, and their children, Alex (Chris) Lindahl, Tim (Sara) Knudson, and Chace Lemmon. His daughter Nita’s family, Randy Myrup, Cody LaFleur, Kelsey (Anna) Tetschner, and Kate Stewart. His Daughter Tina and her children Hannah and Jacob Cubbage. Merril was blessed with the love of many grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

The family would like to acknowledge and send heartfelt thanks to the team of professionals that cared for Merril; his primary care physician Dr. Fordham, his kidney specialist Dr. Ganz, the nurses and doctors at ‘his’ hospital, St. Vincent Health Care, the staff at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Montana and the amazing EMT’s, doctors and nurses at Cody Regional Health. A celebration of Merril’s life will occur in the spring under blue Montana skies.

Condolences to Merril’s family can be left on his memorial page at