Merlin Kipling, 79, passed away at Kalispell Regional Hospital on Aug. 16.

He was born Dec. 16, 1940, to William and Anna Kipling, both deceased.

He lived the majority of his life in Browning. He graduated in 1959 from BHS. 

After his four-year stint in the Air Force, he and his late wife, Goldie, moved to California where Merlin completed welding school. 

Merle married Carol Hale on Jan. 4, 1992.

Merlin was a custodian at Napi Elementary for several years. He dearly felt blessed to be a Sacristan for daily Mass. Merlin was also a musician and singer for Mass at Little Flower Parish. He was a regular at daily Mass until the pandemic hit.

He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters Patricia Spearson and Doris Farmer; and daughter Traci Kipling.

He is survived by his wife, Carol Hale-Kipling; daughter Ronni Kipling; brother Dean; sisters Carol Courchane, June and Helen Butterfly; three grandsons, two granddaughters, three great-granddaughters and four great-grandsons.

Merlin initiated a three-person band called Fallen Rock. His sister, Carol, played bass and Lane Kennedy played rhythm. They performed at Summit Station. He was also a member of the Over the Hill Gang.

His absence will be deeply felt for all who enjoyed his sense of humor, musical talent and loving nature.