Merrellee Leppin

Obituary of Merrellee Kirkland Leppin

Merrellee Kirkland Leppin of Ocean City, Maryland, age 81, passed away on March 19, 2020. Daughter of the late James Lee Kirkland and Marie Hartmann Kirkland. Survived by her husband of 61 years, Walter Leppin, Sr. and three children Walter, Jr. (Jane), Brian (Betty), and Pam (Kurt), six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

She was born in Evanston, Illinois and grew up in Chicago. Attended the Art Institute of Chicago and was an art major at University of Illinois. Married Walter in 1958 and moved 18 times in 15 years with the Navy. Taught preschool for 10 years at Warner Memorial Presbyterian Church in Kensington, MD impacting the lives of hundreds of children. Opened and ran ShellSea, a boutique store in Shantytown in Ocean City, for 22 years. She was a prolific artist who was happiest being creative, expressing herself through hundreds, maybe thousands, of paintings, collages, assemblage and art dolls. During her husband’s military career and in retirement she traveled the world including multiple countries in Central and South American, North American, Africa, India, Indonesia, Asia, and Europe.

She gave of herself through monetary donations and time to Feed the Children, Ocean Pines Christmas Toy Drive, Mississippi Box Project, Humane Society, and by teaching English to second language learners.

Life-long artist, wife, mother, grandmother, teacher and friend. She will be missed by all.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to or in her memory.

Celebration of life will be held this summer.

Arrangements are in the care of Eastern Shore Cremation and Funeral Service, 504 Franklin Avenue, Berlin, MD 21811.  To send condolences to the family, please visit

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