Cover photo for Merrilee Padian's Obituary
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1953 Merrilee 2024

Merrilee Padian

November 8, 1953 — May 14, 2024

This bright, active, artistic and talented lady passed away at her Pocatello home on May 14, 2024 following a 10 year struggle with cancer. A beloved wife, mother and grandmother, she was born November 8, 1953, at Walnut Creek, California, the daughter of Richard and Elizabeth Marie Barnett. She grew up and attended schools in Walnut Creek, graduating from Los Alamitos High School. While in high school, she also attended and graduated from cosmetology school and worked in that field for several years after graduation.

Merrilee met and married David Lewis in southern California. Siminera, Radina and Ryan were born to this marriage. They made their home in California, Michigan and Idaho. They later divorced.

She met and married Bob Bowman, near Salmon, Idaho, where her parents had moved after retiring. Merrilee and Bob built and remodeled homes in Arizona and Idaho and settled down in Elk Bend, ID, where Wendy and John were born. They later went their separate ways.

In June, 2005, Merrilee married Bruce Padian in Blackfoot, Idaho. They made their home in Pocatello and did an extensive remodel on their house, then purchased, remodeled and sold several other properties. One of these was a cabin in Mackay, ID, where they spent portions of several summers hiking, golfing fishing, and spending time with family.

Just a few of Merrilee’s many interests, skills and hobbies throughout her life included interior design and carpentry, house painting and remodeling, photography, gardening, camping, hiking, fishing and kayaking. She obtained an Idaho real estate license in 2001, and worked in that profession in the Salmon, ID area. She also served as a teaching assistant at Alameda Jr. High School in Pocatello. Throughout her life, she was a lover and caretaker of numerous dogs, horses, chickens, cats… and a wild goose. An excellent seamstress, she produced many of her own and others clothing, curtains, blankets and bedspreads. She also made and sold jewelry and wreaths at various craft shows. Merrilee enjoyed listening to a multitude of musical artists and making her own music with her flutes and drums.

She was an adventurer and loved to travel, taking trips to Alaska and Mexico in her earlier years. She made many trips with Bruce and family in her favorite rig, a 1997 Chinook RV, to the Oregon and California coasts, Arizona, Yellowstone and Glacier Nat’l Parks, Island Park and Sawtooth NRA., finishing up with a two-week vacation to the Banff/Jasper, Canada area in September 2023.

Merrilee held a strong belief in Christian teachings and God’s grace. She sought peace and strength from the Bible and seldom missed Watersprings Church telecasts on Sunday morning.

Merrilee’s wish was to be cremated. No services are currently planned and gravesite placement by family will occur later this summer.

She was preceded in death by her parents, grandparents and her very special Australian shepherd pup, Alex.

She is survived by her husband, Bruce; daughters, Siminera Lewis, Radina Barlow, and Wendy O’Neal (Sam); sons, Ryan Lewis (Lindsay) and John Bowman; grandchildren, Conner Lewis, Owen and Slade O’Neal, Isabel Marie Calderon, Emma Grace and Abbygail Barlow, Blake and Fox Lewis and one great-grandchild Quincy Lewis; step daughters, Angela Padian, Kimberly Uphoff and Jennifer Padian; brothers, Richard Barnett, Jr. (Carol), Mike Barnett, Rob Barnett (Bonnie), special cousin, Louise Davidson (Sam); and numerous nieces and nephews.

Her family would like to give special thanks to the Huntsman Cancer Center in Salt Lake City, for the many years of excellent and tireless care they provided Merrilee. We would also like to express our sincere appreciation to the Heritage Hospice staff of Pocatello, for their compassionate and loving care given Merrilee during her last months.

Anyone wishing to make a donation in Merrilee’s name, can do so to the Pocatello Animal Shelter, P.O. Box 4169, Pocatello, ID 83205.

Memories and condolences may be shared below.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Merrilee Padian, please visit our flower store.

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