Ulla Heide Mergler died on November 20, 2022, at the home of her daughter in Salt Lake City, due to a serious illness that took her quickly.
She was preceded in death by her father, Georg Mergler, her mother, Johanna Mergler, her sister, Jutta Beyer, and her son-in-law, Ken Krey. She is survived by her brothers, Georg Mergler (Herma) and Bernd Mergler (Ute) and sister, Christa Lippl (Peter), her brother-in law, Peter Beyer. Also survived by her six children, Heide Krey, Todd Predovich, Kristine Orton (Kent), Monique Predovich (Kate Falberg), Sonja Deere (Jason), and Danielle Mearian (David).
Ulla Heide Mergler was born on January 20, 1941, in Frankenthal-Pfalz, Germany amidst the chaos of World War II. At one point, because of government mandates, Ulla’s parents moved their family to Landau-Pfalz to live with her father’s parents. They were difficult years, but still, good times were to be had sledding with her siblings, antics devised and carried out on the teacher nuns of her school, friends and mischief and anxiously awaiting the trimming of the tree on Christmas Eve. Ulla loved the Christmas season and carried on the traditions of her homeland and the love of her heritage with her children in the states. This is the home where Ulla and her family survived the war and grew up safely. Until….
Until, in November of 1957, Ulla was finally able to convince her parents to let her come to America at the invitation of Johanna’s first cousin, Myron Bangerter, and his wife, Jean and children, Roger and Helen, to host one of the children. Ulla’s wanderlust and sense of adventure won the day, and off she went to Bountiful, Utah not speaking a word of English. She was 16, coming up on 17. She attended Bountiful High School for three years, graduating in May 1960.
By this time Ulla was homesick and returned home to Germany, but you couldn’t keep that girl down or in one place, so off she went to Switzerland staying with friends. While Ulla was there two missionaries came knocking on the door. Ulla said, “I know who you are.” They responded, “Well, why aren’t you baptized yet?” So, she did.
Ulla felt an undeniable, constant pull to leave her beloved Germany again, and go to the U.S. She often would say that she felt the hand of the Lord in her decision to make a home in America. She moved to Colorado to attend flight attendant school. It was there she met and married Robert Predovich. They settled in Burlingame, California.
Good, rewarding years were spent raising children. Ulla planned exciting birthday parties, with the whole class invited since she was concerned about leaving anyone out. Ulla was heavily involved in PTA assignments, Girl Scouts and church responsibilities where she would bring her special flair, creating games, visual aids, creative activities to teach a lesson, and always to invoke fun through it all. Ulla loved to sing, to traipse through the hills and meadows, Sunday drives into the country, to explore and feel the joy and fun of life, to create, to give generously, and all while dragging her six children along.
Ulla often traveled to Germany hauling all six children by herself, spending time with her family, as her children fell asleep to the sound of their talking and laughing, arranging expeditions through the countryside, along mountain paths and many photos in the countryside that Ulla was always drawn to.
Ulla could see a beautiful vision of any home and garden we lived in, and Bob had the know-how and mechanical gift to get it done. They remodeled homes together, took their family to church, threw fun and lively parties, and raised their children to love God, respect people, be good, have integrity, take responsibilities seriously, clean with a fury, have manners like ladies and gentlemen, love our heritage, have faith in Jesus Christ.
Ulla had a strong sense of making do, and finding a way to make it through a difficult situation. After her divorce, Mom began her career as Executive Director of Housekeeping for a property management company in Park City, Utah. She excelled in managing her team, and expecting the best in her people. From there she went to several hotels in Provo, Utah where she excelled still, creating a work environment of sterling work and performance peppered with fun and friendship. We often heard of Ulla’s generosity in helping any who needed assistance, often giving her meager abundance, or home, or anything she had. Her supervisor was so impressed with Ulla, he asked her to go with him to a new hotel. She spent many years at the Guest House at the University of Utah, shining in her responsibility and shining the hotel.
When Ulla retired from the U, her next adventure was a temple mission in Frankfurt, Germany for 18 months. She was also able to spend precious time with her brothers and sisters. Ulla always spoke with such sweet fondness of her experiences during that time.
On her return to the United States, she purchased a home in Smithfield, Utah finally realizing her dream of having her little cottage in the country. Family was important to Ulla, and she spent countless hours delving into family history and gathering information about her family.
One of her greatest joys was her 20 grandchildren. Ulla delighted in hearing all of their activities and adventures, usually spurring them on to even greater antics. Then came the greatgrandchildren, who could illicit a full out joyous grin even in her last days. Ulla loves the little children, and found great joy in their presence.
At the funeral of Jean Bangerter, Thomas S. Monson, a nephew to Jean greeted Ulla “Ah, hello Ulla, the German girl,” with affection and warmth. Ulla had babysat his children when she was living with Jean and Myron in her teenage years.
And now, it is time for us to say………
“Bis später, Ulla, our very own German girl,” with great love, tenderness and tears.