Ann North Cripe Merkel

Ann Merkel is remembered and celebrated before and after February 19, 2023 with a full life of late night horse rides and 4-wheel drive trails.

Ann was born on January 18th, 1940 in Lawrence KS, to mother Evelyn North and father Eugene North.  Ann is survived by her sister in law Faye North, two step-children Debbie Dixon and Darrin Cripe, her daughter in law Joan Goldman, her two grandchildren William Merkel and Dana Hunter, and three great grand-chidren Cecilia Hunter, Cayden Hunter, and McCandless Russell.

Ann graduated from Lawrence High School where she participated in a wide variety of activities including marching band and twirling.  Also involved in extracurricular she was the first woman to be admitted to the Hot Rodder Club and the first woman to participate in the Demolition Derby.

In 1965 Ann was offered a job as Secretary of Sunflower Ammunition (later known as Hercules). Ann worked with the plant for almost three decades and rose through the ranks to Director of Computer Technology.  She eventually retired in 1993.

During those three decades Ann raised dogs, taught dog obedience training and owned The Corral Club.  She bought her first house on Tennessee Street and completely remodeled the house from “top to bottom”.  She was known to do plumbing, electrical work, and carpet laying. Ann’s free time was mostly riding and raising horses, skiing or driving her fat two wheeler through the mountains.

Upon her retirement Ann grew her emu farm.  Her business, Sundance Emu Ranch, was named after one of her most beloved horses. Born on a farm, and knowing how to do anything farm related she jumped into all things Emu.  Her passion for this unique market allowed her to hold various positions on the national Emu board and was a fixture at the local Lawrence Farmer’s Market for over 20 years.

Bill Merkel, Ann’s husband, passed in 2015 following 35 years of marriage. Together they enjoyed the outdoors, skiing and, in particular, Colorado.

Ann’s service will be on April 10th, 2023 and will be held at Rumsey and Yost funeral home at 2:00 pm. All are welcome to come to celebrate her memory and her long, beautiful life.