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Merle Fairbanks

Merle Fairbanks

March 20, 1932-Jan. 25, 2014

Merle M. Fairbanks, 81, of Callaway, died Saturday, January 25, 2014 at the Frazee Care Center. A private family service is being planned for a later date.

Merle Marie Fairbanks was born to Andrew and Ruth (Day) Mortenson on March 20, 1932 in Detroit Lakes. She was raised in rural Callaway and graduated from Waubun High School in 1950.

Merle was united in marriage to Lewis Fairbanks October 9, 1951 in Detroit Lakes. They moved to Kenosha, Wis., in 1956 and returned to the Mortenson family farm near Callaway in 1969.

While in Kenosha, Merle worked as a cook at Carthage College. After their return to Callaway, she was a cook at the Job Corps Camp and Pembina Supper Club in rural Mahnomen; worked for McArthur's Foods in Ogema; and cooked at Young Guns Cafe in Waubun. Lewis died in 1990.

Merle enjoyed time with her grand and great grandchildren, sewing, cooking, gardening and crocheting.

Survivors include four daughters, Michelle (Bruce) Olson of Detroit Lakes, Dawn (Rev. Paul) Larson of Callaway, Sheree Keprios of Bemidji and Dana (Randy) Johnson of Hibbing; three sons, Craig Fairbanks of Montello, Wis., Clay (Toni) Fairbanks of Ogema and Leslie (Linda) Fairbanks of Mahnomen; a daughter-in-law, Joy Gilbert of Grand Junction, Colo.; 24 grandchildren; 44 great grandchildren; four brothers, Floyd (Laura) Mortenson of Howe, Okla., Leslie Mortenson of Clear, Alaska, Roy Mortenson of Ulen and Bruce Mortenson of Mahnomen; a sister, Helen Taylor of Hawley; and a sister-in-law, Betty Mortenson of Mora, MN. 

Preceding her in death were a son, Kim; a daughter, Denise; a grandson, Seth Larson; a son-in-law, Steven Keprios; her parents; two brothers, Ronald and Allen Mortenson; and two sisters, Audrey Hopper and Vida Heisler.

David-Donehower Funeral Home is serving the family.