Grace Merz Privratsky


May 19, 1925 - December 3, 2022

Grace Merz Privratsky died on December 3, 2022 in Bemidji, Minnesota, age 97. She had a strong faith in God and was a member of First Presbyterian Church, Bemidji. She attended worship at Havenwood Care Center, where a memorial service was held on December 11, Rev. Terry Bernstrom presiding. Burial will be in the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery in Mandan.

Grace was preceded in death by her husband, George Privratsky; a brother, Howard Merz; two sisters, Helen Paulson and Joyce Myran, and her parents, Leo and Grace Bacon Merz. She is survived by three sons: Bruce Privratsky, of Bemidji, MN; Brad Privratsky, of Wheatland, WY; and Scott Privratsky, of St. Petersburg, FL; and by nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Grace was born in Rhame, ND, and grew up on a cattle ranch at the edge of the Badlands. She went to first grade in a one-room school house, then at the school in Marmarth, ND. In 1943 she graduated from Central High School in Dickinson, ND.

Grace married George Privratsky on the last day of World War II. They were members of First Congregational Church, Dickinson, which sent them to Turkey as missionaries for eight years.

Later they settled in Minnesota, where Grace operated her first art gallery, The Art Barn, on their farm a few miles from Nevis. When they moved to Park Rapids, she sold paintings and carvings at Cody’s, her second gallery. She was a founding member of the North Country Museum of Arts.

In retirement George and Grace lived in New Mexico where her art was featured in Silver City galleries.

George died after they moved back to Dickinson, and Grace settled in Minnesota again to be near family. In Bemidji she lived at Birch Haven Village, where she showed her art work in Grace’s Gallery, and later at Tamarack Court and Havenwood.

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