Merrellee Kirkland Leppin, of Ocean City, Maryland, age 81, passed away on March 19, 2020.
She was the daughter of the late James Lee Kirkland and Marie Hartmann Kirkland.
She is survived by her husband of 61 years, Walter Leppin, Sr., and three children, Walter, Jr. (Jane), Brian (Betty), and Pam (Kurt), six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
She was born in Evanston, Illinois, and grew up in Chicago.
She attended the Art Institute of Chicago and was an art major at University of Illinois.
She married Walter in 1958 and moved 18 times in 15 years with the Navy.
She taught preschool for 10 years at Warner Memorial Presbyterian Church in Kensington, Maryland, impacting the lives of hundreds of children.
She opened and ran ShellSea, a boutique store in Shantytown in Ocean City, for 22 years.
She was a prolific artist who was happiest being creative, expressing herself through hundreds, maybe thousands, of paintings, collages, assemblage and art dolls.
During her husband’s military career and in retirement she traveled the world, including multiple countries in Central and South American, North American, Africa, India, Indonesia, Asia and Europe.
She gave of herself through monetary donations and time to Feed the Children, Ocean Pines Christmas Toy Drive, Mississippi Box Project, Humane Society, and by teaching English to second language learners.
She was a life-long artist, wife, mother, grandmother, teacher and friend. She will be missed by all.
A celebration of life will be held this summer.
Arrangements are in the care of Eastern Shore Cremation and Funeral Service, 504 Franklin Avenue, Berlin, Maryland 21811.
To send condolences to the family, please visit www.easternshorecremation.com.