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Merle Ann Elshere-Haveman

Merle Ann Elshere-Haveman, age 66 of Summerset, SD, died July 22, 2008, at her home.

Funeral services were held Monday, July 28, at the United Church in Philip, with Pastor Al Brucklacher officiating.

Music was provided by Judy Elshere, pianist, with congregational hymns. Ushers were Eric Hoag and Derek Lane. Pallbearers were Trent and Tyler Sever, Dustin and Jordan Cazier, Douglas Kennedy, Jr. and Robert Haveman.

Interment was in the Masonic Cemetery, Philip.

Merle Ann was born July 30, 1941, in Tiffin, OH, the daughter of Arthur and Maxine (Griffin) Hutchinson. She was raised in Philip by her mother and adoptive father, John Calvin Hoag. She became a sister, at 18, when her brother, Fred, was born.

Piano lessons at an early age were the beginnings of Merle Ann's life long love of music. She shared her musical talent as a church accompanist and pianist for weddings and funerals.

Merle Ann married Arlie Elshere on November 19, 1960, and to this union four children were born, Laura, Julie, Steven and Jennifer. They raised their children on the Elshere homestead in Milesville, SD. As a rural wife and mother, Merle Ann enjoyed being creative in her home and in the community that she loved.

Through writing, Merle Ann discovered another way to express her spirituality, sensitivity, and humor. This gift developed into a professional career as a journalist, where she received critical acclaim and numerous awards.

Merle Ann's talents and abilities were as endless as the love she shared with her family and friends.

She was dearly loved and will be greatly missed by her husband, Melvin Haveman of Summerset; one son, Steven Elshere of Stanford, IL; three daughters, Laura Sever and her husband, Jeff, of Rapid City, Julie Furchner and her husband, Scott, of Ft. Pierre, and Jennifer Kennedy and her husband, Doug, of Las Vegas, NV; three step daughters, Catherine Haveman of Rapid City, Laurie Coy and her husband, Steve, of Rapid City, and Diane Lane and her husband, Ed, of Rapid City; seven grandchildren, Tyler, Trent and Taryn Sever, Dustin and Jordan Cazier, Trina Elshere and Douglas Kennedy, Jr.; four step-grandchildren; one step-great-grandson; one brother, Fred Hoag and his wife, Claudette, of Philip; three nephews; and a host of other relatives and friends.

A memorial has been established. Arrangements were with the Rush Funeral Home of Philip.

Written tributes may be made at www.rushfuneralhome.com