Tommye Kay Mueller died August 28, 2020, at Avera McKennan hospital supported on her journey home to heaven by the immense love and (as much as possible) the presence of her children.
Tommye Kay was born March 16, 1943, to Erwin & Leona (Onan) Merkley. She and her siblings grew up on the family farm and attended the Pipestone school district. She graduated in 1961. Following high school, she began her romance with Dan Mueller from Jasper Minnesota. They married on May 25, 1963. The family grew to include three children who were raised in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She worked for Bethany Lutheran Home in Sioux Falls as a ward clerk for 24 years before retiring.
Tommye Kay is a member of First Lutheran Church and she enjoyed all the pageants, choirs, and sermons of pastors over the years such as Pastor Barney. She liked to shop the church bazaar, malls, and shops like Geyerman’s in Pipestone. Tommye Kay hated missing any of the kids’ or grandkids’ activities. Over the years her cheering, smiles and hooting could be heard at the fastpitch or baseball diamonds, volleyball court, and basketball courts to support players and cheer squad, football & soccer fields, show choir concerts, talent shows, dance recitals, hockey rinks, jump rope skipping competitions and track meets. She attended elementary school singalongs, special assemblies for certificates and awards, and all the graduations. Her family, pets, and yard were her pride and joy.
The house was a welcome haven (even if somewhat begrudgingly, at first) but she would not turn any away. There are many humans and critters that lived under the roof over the years. Pets like a fox, turkey, stray parakeet, salamander, and so many dogs and cats enriched her life.
She liked to play computer games like Hay Day (did she miss the farm that much?) She also watched Netflix movies and had stacks and stacks of the monthly Harlequin romances from the mail. Tommye Kay was mid-project on many knitting patterns. She did not sit still too often and met many goals during her membership at Anytime Fitness. Her children dragged her along on trips like Colorado, Las Vegas, Black Hills, Minnesota to the Mall of American or Twins games or Renaissance festival, and the Omaha Zoo. She could be seen on a nickel machine while on casino trips with her siblings or children. And in 2000, Tommye Kay became a world traveler in Britain and Ireland, tracing down some Irish roots.
Grateful for being part of her amazing life are her children: Jodi aka “Sis” & Tim Paulson, Mark & Heather Mueller, Michael & Jennifer Mueller. Her eight grandchildren: Jordan, Nick, Kailey, Madison, Morgan, Mitchell, Greta & Miken. And her siblings: Sondra & Jim Taubert, Dick & Linn Merkley and Roger Merkley. And special friends: Sam & Baxter, plus all the nieces, nephews and their offspring and all manner of other in-laws, out-laws, and friends. What a blessing it was when phone lines were not long-distance anymore, since she would spend hours chatting to Minnesota, Colorado, Florida, and locally. She was preceded in death by both parents, her husband and a brother, Robert Merkley.
Celebration of life will begin Friday, September 4, 2020, at Miller Westside chapel, 6200 W 41st Street, Sioux Falls. The family will be present for visitation from 5:00-7:00 PM. The funeral service will be at the same location beginning 1:00 PM on Saturday, September 5, 2020. The funeral will be live-streamed on the Miller Funeral Home Sioux Falls YouTube page.