Stephanie Merkins

08/15/1984 — 08/28/2022

Watch Service

Celebration of Life

Sat, September 24, 2022, 2:00 pm
Events at Sunset
915 Bypass Highway

Richland, WA 99352


Sat, September 24, 2022, 3:00 pm
Events at Sunset
915 Bypass Highway

Richland, WA 99352

Stephanie Merkins

Our precious mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, and friend, Stephanie Ann, gained her angel wings on August 28, 2022. Stephanie was born August 15, 1984 in Arvada, CO and passed away from a brief illness in Seattle, WA.

Although born in Colorado, Stephanie spent most of her life growing up in the Tri-Cities, WA area. She graduated from Handford High School and Columbia Basin College on a softball scholarship. Steph spent several years in Albuquerque, New Mexico where she learned to snow board and played a lot of softball. She left many friends behind but not forgotten when returning to Tri-Cities, WA, where she reunited with former area softball players and met new friends in the softball community. She was first a mother, held several jobs in accounts payable, and was a construction technician at the Hanford Site until the birth of her precious daughter RoriAnn (“Smalls”).

“Oh, SNAP!…” Steph enjoyed visiting Bishops Castle near Rye Colorado, hanging out with all her softball friends, snowboarding with brother Danny and cousin Patrick, was outgoing and had a smile and a hug for everyone. She was a tough strong woman, was down to earth, “told it like it was” and had a magnetic personality.

Stephanie leaves behind her husband, Luke Hillman, daughter, RoriAnn, and step-children Luke and Arya of Yakima, WA; mother, Barbara Gillespie, Pueblo, CO; brothers Owen Gillespie, Monroeville, AL; Danial (Megan) Gillespie, Kennewick, WA; father, Robert Merkins, Golden, CO; parents-in-law, Dale and Stacy Hillman, Othello, WA; brothers-in-law Seth and Drew Hillman; sisters-in-law Emily (Levi) Ponczoch, Coeur d’Alene, ID; Betsy (Jason) Bowling, Caldwell, ID; Rebecca Guzman, Othello, WA.  Also, left behind are nieces and nephews:  Kyle “KJ”, Haylee, Emalyn, Annabelle, Madyson, and Gage Gillespie; Brianna, Naraiah, Brooklyn, Madilynn, Brody and Cooper Hillman; Addison and Elias “Cash” Ponczoch; and Peter and Lila Bowling.  Also, Aunt Deb (Mark) Reha, Uncle Curtis “Cutie Pie” (Linnea Laurila) Gillespie, Uncle “Monkle” Marty Gillespie, five cousins, and Great Aunt Mim Gillespie.  She had so many close New Mexico and Washington softball friends – women’s fast-pitch, women’s, men’s, and co-ed slow-pitch – too numerous to list but still close to our hearts. Stephanie was pre-deceased by step-dad “Papa” Jim Kelley, Richland, WA; grandparents Jim and Emma Gillespie, Pueblo, CO; brother-in-law, Rory Hillman, Othello, WA; and Aunt LeeAnn Gillespie, Pueblo, CO.

Stephanie was way too young to leave us and we will all miss her so very much.  Please help us keep her alive in RoriAnn’s life.  Stephanie had a passion for dogs and leaves behind Champ, Sis, Max and Zara.  Donations can be made to a pet adoption and protection agency of your choice or organization supporting our military veterans and their families.

“Goodbyes are not forever. Goodbyes are not the end. They simply mean I’ll miss you, until we meet again.”

Guestbook for

Stephanie Merkins

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  • Stephanie, throughout the years,memories would come and go of you and I. You were one of my best friends when we were little.
    You are loved and missed, friend.

    Andrea Upchurch
    June 29, 2023
  • So saddened by the loss of your sweet girl. Sending love and angel wings.

    Rosemary Ross
    September 24, 2022
    Allen Texas
  • Thinking of you all at this time.

    Connie Bosted
    September 24, 2022
  • You and your family are in our prayers.

    Hugo Suarez
    September 24, 2022
  • You are in our thoughts and prayers. Stephanie will always be remembered here as an amazing friend and coworker. She is deeply missed.

    The Prime Windows family
    September 21, 2022
  • You are gone from us way too soon. I have watched you grow from before you made your appearance on this earth. What a blessing you have been to your family, your friends and all who had the good fortune to cross paths with you. I remember taking you and your brothers to “hike-in” camping in Outside of Breckenridge when you were just 3. Such a sweetheart. You are greatly missed. You will live on in our hearts and in your daughter.

    Elise Bowne
    September 20, 2022
    Littleton, CO
  • My condolences to the family. Steph will be missed. Sending hugs.

    Amy Bonjione
    September 19, 2022
    St.Augustine, FL
  • You are very missed. Until we meet again my friend.

    Nicole Franklin
    September 18, 2022
    Lexington, KY
  • God bless your family .Luke we wanted you to know you are in our prayers .Brother

    Gary jennings
    September 18, 2022
    Yakima wa
  • My heart is crying. So glad to have had you in my life.

    September 18, 2022
    Florence AZ
  • I still remember watching her with her brothers while her mom was on her honeymoon. I was supposed to get the kids to school which was across the street. She ate three bowls of cereal. The kids were almost late to school and I was definitely late to work. When I told my story at work, they all laughed said that the little girl had me. I have great memories of her as a child.

    I am so sorry for your loss. I am praying for you. May God comfort you during this time.

    Laurie Fetterman
    September 17, 2022
    Hanover Park, IL
  • Rip Steph!

    September 16, 2022
  • Love and comforting prayers from Aunt Mim.m

    Miriam Gillespie
    September 13, 2022
    Woodland Park, Colorado
  • We will miss your easy smile, tender heart, and willingness to just be YOU! We pray that your smile will be present to us when we are feeling down. You will always have a special place in our hearts that will make our souls smile, love, and soar! Praying for all those grieving.

    Deb and Mark Reha
    September 13, 2022
    Phillipsburg, Kansas
  • I’ll miss you terribly.
    I’ll always be your BWD. And your wingman. Till we meet again. Love you. ❤️

    September 12, 2022
    Roswell nm
  • The best first basewoman I’ve even known. I’ll never forget the first time I saw her do the splits to get the out. You are missed so much sis. Love you. Praying for your family and beautiful RoriAnn 💕

    Robbyn Gallegos
    September 12, 2022
    Albuquerque, NM
  • May you rest easy in grace and love.

    Fitsum G
    September 11, 2022
  • I only met you a couple of times, but you were way to young to go, but God felt he needed another Angel to help him.

    Blenda Bracco
    September 11, 2022
    Pueblo, Colorado
  • We will miss you.

    The Priddy’s

    Shannon Priddy
    September 10, 2022
    Rio Rancho NM
  • You are truly missed baby girl. My prayers to your family and sweet RoriAnn. Say hi to Poppa Moore. Love and miss you .
    Love Momma Moore

    Cindi Moore
    September 10, 2022
    Albuquerque NM
  • You will forever be missed and remembered. Prayer to your family.

    September 10, 2022
    Albuquerque, NM
  • Oh Steph you changed so many people’s lifes just by being part of them. I love you soich . So thankful I saw you last Xmas. It’s not good bye I will see you again. Givey mom a hug. Always and forever beautiful? Love momma coates

    Mary Coat
    September 10, 2022
  • Sincere condolences. Peace be with you all!

    Linda & Jack Krupka
    September 9, 2022
    Pueblo, CO
  • The sweetest niece that any “uncle cutie pie” could possibly deserve. I’ll miss your always ready smile and twinkling eyes. But they will always be in my heart, for it is you that put them there.

    Curt Gillespie
    September 9, 2022
    Westcliffe, CO
  • Although we never met you in person, we met you through your mother. I know she and the rest of your family and friends are missing you greatly. We feel their pain at the loss of you and only hope you all meet again one day.

    Rich and Lisa Davis
    September 9, 2022
    Pueblo Colorado
  • I am deeply saddened by your passing, I’ll always remember the memories of us from a young age to you had togo. I will always love and miss you cuz. Love you

    September 9, 2022
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