Nancy Kay Birch, 71, of Rhame, North Dakota left this earth to join the Lord in Heaven on November 12, 2019 in Mandan North Dakota. Viewing and visitation for family and friends will be Saturday, November 16 from 1pm – 4pm at Mound Church with the funeral on November 17 at 1pm at the Rhame Legion Hall with burial to follow at Mound Cemetery.
Nancy Kay Merz was born on June 5, 1948 to Patsy (Burnetta) and Howard Merz in Baker, Montana. She was raised on her family ranch northwest of Rhame in Slope County. She attended Crawford School through the 6th grade and then attended Rhame School.
She met the love of her life, James Birch at the very ranch where they lived and raised their family. Later in life she said she knew when she first laid eyes on him that she was going to be his wife. They were married on May 19, 1964 at Mound Church. They have four daughters; Karla, Lee Ann, Doreen and Deborah.
As a young family, Nancy and Jim moved to Iowa in 1965 where Jim worked iron construction and Nancy was a stay at home mom until their daughters were older at which time she worked driving a contract mail route. Later, Jim and Nancy worked together as farm laborers.
In 1979 Nancy and Jim returned to her family ranch at Rhame. Side by side they built their own hog operation in addition to taking over her parent’s cattle ranch. She also was a mail carrier from Rhame for 15 years.
Nancy was a lover of all animals, with a special fondness of pigs and cats. She enjoyed getting together with neighbors and family for a game of cards, and was sometimes known to make up her own Skip-Bo rules. She had a strong faith in the Lord and openly shared it with others. She spoke often how the Lord healed her of breast cancer 15 years ago. This faith guided her life and gave her the strength for all she endured in the last few months.
Nancy is survived by her husband James; her daughters, Karla (Edwin) Germann, Lee Ann (Shawn) Preszler, Doreen Birch, Deborah Birch (Nick Werth); her grandchildren Nicole, Trey, Justin, Tyler, Kyle, Kayla, Alissa, Allison, John and Lena; her father, Howard Merz; and her brother Harvey Merz. Nancy was preceded in death by her mother, Patsy (Burnetta) Merz.
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