Cover photo for Merrill Matal's Obituary
Merrill Matal Profile Photo
1934 Merrill 2023

Merrill Matal

February 8, 1934 — November 6, 2023

Billings

Merrill Matal
February 8, 1934-November 6, 2023
Merrill (know as Boo Boo by close friends and relatives) was born in Bison, KS on February 8th,
1934 to Frank Matal and Elsie Muth Matal. Over the course of five years the Matals moved to
Salt Fork, Kremlin, and in 1939 they settled in what would be Merrill’s forever hometown,
Billings, OK.
In 1952, Merrill graduated from Billings High School, a proud Bulldog. After graduation in 1953,
he volunteered for the Army with his good friend, Jon Webb. He was honorably discharged in
1955. Upon discharge, Merrill worked with his dad at Franks Repair Shop in Billings. In 1969 he
went to work at Rush Metals, where he found his niche in life and his career took off. During his
time at Rush Metals he worked in many different positions, starting as a set-up person and
retiring as a Director of Sales & Engineering in 2000.
Merrill was a part of the American Legion Association for 24 years. In addition to his many
services, he also volunteered for the Billings Fire Department for 20 years and was honored
with a plaque.
Some of Merrill’s favorite hobbies were traveling, fishing, and cooking. He made the best
Thanksgiving dinners, providing plenty of food for everyone with leftovers for the next few
weeks. Merrill was happiest when he knew everyone was well-fed.
Merill enjoyed family vacations to Colorado and California. One of his favorite adventures was
going to Columbia and floating down the Amazon River. Merrill thoroughly enjoyed growing up
with his many siblings, and wanted to have the same for his own family. He married Linda Hess
from Billings and to this union three children were born. He later married Edyth
Betchan-Cunningham who brought three more children to their marriage. Together, Merrill and
Edyth Matal, shared a 7th child.
Merrill is survived by his wife, Edyth; children, Trudy Sabihy, Doug Matal (Cindy), Conte Matal
(Kristi), Michelle Caine, Jim Cunningham, Shawn Cunningham, and Tina Matal; grandchildren,
Kyle Sabihy (Nong), Chris Cunningham, Damon Matal, Caden Van Buskirk (Melanie), Alli Van
Buskirk (Zachary Miller), Tyler Matal, Haleigh Cunningham, Thomas Belk, and Alexis Richards;
great grandchildren, Jack Sabihy, RaeLynn Van Buskirk, Vivienne Van Buskirk, Oakleigh
Cunningham, Aliyah Sabihy, and Hallie Van Buskirk. He is also survived by his sister, Ethel
Enfield and many nieces, nephews, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law; and his dog, Sadie.
Merrill is preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Elsie Matal; his siblings, Harold Matal,
Geraldine (Toots) Ingmire, Virginia (Girly) Matal, and infant, Janet Matal; his best friend, Roy
Cain, and his dog, Daisy.
There will be no service at this time as requested by Meriill; however, a celebration of his life will
be planned at a later date.
 
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Merrill Matal, please visit our flower store.

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