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Merilee Lovelace-Kleiber

June 10, 1953 - May 30, 2021

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Merilee Jean Lovelace-Kleiber died peacefully at Hospice House in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho on Sunday, May 30, 2021.
Merilee was born June 10, 1953 in Corydon Iowa. After living in Iowa, South Dakota, and Michigan her family settled in St. Cloud, Minnesota. She had a wonderful childhood spending many summers with her family and grandparents in Yankton, South Dakota.
Merilee went on to graduate from Morehead State University with her degree in social work. Right out of college she worked in Jamestown North Dakota. She then moved to Southern Idaho and began her career with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. She fell in love with Idaho and moved to Sandpoint in 1980.
She married Jim Kleiber; and the love of her life, Katelin, was born on July 26, 1989. Merilee went on to earn her Masters in School Counseling from the University of Idaho in 1995 and began working for the Lake Pend Oreille School District as an elementary school counselor; she also worked as a middle school counselor for many years in Priest River.
Merilee had always wanted to teach on an Indian reservation; when that opportunity came along, she spent four great years at Heart Butte Indian Reservation at the K-12 school. The lake, mountains, and daughter, Katelin, called her back to Sandpoint where she finished out her career as an elementary school counselor at Farmin-Stidwell Elementary School. She was known and loved by many throughout her time as a school counselor.
Merilee loved to spend time with her daughter and son-in-law walking in the wilderness and gardening. She was an avid crafter and learned to play the bagpipes. Merilee spent many weekends marching in parades with the Albeni Falls Pipe and Drum. Merilee enjoyed volunteering and spent many hours at the animal shelter and library. Merilee was a fabulous genealogist and was proud of her family history and roots in Yankton, South Dakota. She was a great mother and friend to those who knew her and was a big inspiration to all who met her. Merilee was known for her straightforward candor and she had a twisted wicked sense of humor.
She is survived by her daughter, Katelin and son-in-law, Loyle Peterson III, her younger brother Kent Lovelace, sister-in-law Karen, and their children.
In Lieu of flowers for those who would like to make a donation please do so to the “Better Together Animal Alliance”, formerly Panhandle Animal Shelter, American Cancer Society or Hospice. Merilee will be interred at Yankton, South Dakota and a celebration of her life will be held at a later date this summer.