NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Xondra Mae Merrill, born Dec. 1, 1974, in Rapid City, South Dakota, to Karen M. Gallagher and Randy Merrill. Xondra entered into rest Monday, Aug. 24, 2015, in Denver, Colorado, in her sleep.
Xondra spent most of her younger years in Missoula and attended school at Hawthorne, C.S. Porter and Big Sky High School. Involved in advanced classes, the arts, and dance, her favorite pastime became the Starlites (high school) dance group and the lifelong friends that came with it. Music was a large part of her life early on as she and her siblings often spent time perfecting music and moves for the dance routines, dubbing and creating their own mixes. Fun times also included gathering at the local Frenchtown Pond as well as watching scary movies and enjoying thrilling car rides around town with her aunts. Summers brought her to South Dakota and Colorado, where she graduated from Lakewood High School in 1992 at Red Rocks Amphitheater.
Xondra was a free-spirited, loving soul who enjoyed seeing the world and traveled whenever the opportunity arose. She courageously traveled across the country and even ventured into others, her favorite being South America. Xondra called many places home in her time and, though she lived in Tennessee, she considered herself home while in the Rockies.
In 2005 she settled in Tennessee and began working with her father in the family business, Winterset Concert Events. Her love of people and music lent itself to making her a perfect match with her work and she excelled at it, overcoming every obstacle. Touching numerous people in her travels and forming many close relationships through the business, Xondra was truly loved by all who knew her. Ultimately, it was through her work that she finally met the love of her life, J. Paul Brittain, and was the happiest she'd ever been. She lit up the room when she walked in with her striking beauty which was only matched by her vivacious personality and "quirky" sense of humor.
She is survived by her mother, Karen M. Gallagher of Lolo; father Randy Merrill (stepmother Brende) of Nashville, Tennessee; grandma Fran Gallagher of Missoula; grandma Bev Merrill of Rapid City; sister Lisa Richards (Al) and brother Mike Sparr (Jamie) of Missoula; aunts, uncles, cousins and friends too numerous to list, and her beautiful nieces Eloura and Arabell of Missoula. She was preceded in death by both of her grandfathers, Benjamin R. Davis and Ed Merrill; beloved great-grandma, Marion Ryan; and very dear uncle, Kevin Mikel, who was nicknamed "Uncle Strange" by Xondra when she was young. Rest, darlin' girl, rest.
In celebration of Xondra's life and to honor her wishes, services will be held on Monday, Aug. 31, at 10:30 a.m. at Osheim and Schmidt Funeral Home, 2700 Jackson Blvd, Rapid City, S.D. 57702.
Donations in Xondra’s name can be made to the National MS Society, which she strongly supported.