Amber Christine Mertel, 42, of Topeka, passed peacefully after far too short of a battle with Melanoma on Saturday, November 19, 2022. She was born July 27, 1980, in Topeka, Kansas to her parents Lyle and Sandra (Brenton) Stroud and biological father Michael Petit.
Amber completed her undergraduate studies at Washburn University where she received a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Communications and later earned a Master’s Degree in HealthCare Leadership from Friends University.
Amber’s working career was a testament to her dedication and leadership. She recently celebrated 18 years with the US Department of Veterans Affairs, a job she where she received multiple promotions, most recently earning a promotion as a Senior Management Analyst.
Beyond the working world, Amber was most known for her love of community volunteer work and friends, which often intertwined. Amber was actively involved in Project Topeka, a local nonprofit, for 15 years where she became President, but was always happy to jump in wherever she was needed. She was involved in numerous committees such as Club Blue (Boys & Girls Club) and was known for organizing various golf tournaments such as Bullfrog’s Karen Harkness, Friends of Forbes 190th, and most recently the Downie Memorial Tournament. Amber was also selected in the Top 20 Under 40 for Topeka in 2018.
Amber was exemplary in every aspect and her life and impact cannot be quantified by her associations and degrees. Her love of her family and friends is what was most endearing. Amber married Stephen A. Mertel after a romantic engagement on top of the Eiffel tower. They complemented one another in such perfect harmony as partners, best friends and doting parents.
Amber’s home was filled by those who loved her most: her sidekick & husband, Steve, daughter by birth, Parker Stroud (18), daughter by love, Mackenzie Mertel (14), and her devoted fur-baby Panda. She is survived by her parents Lyle & Sandy Stroud; parents-in-laws Mark Mertel and Jeri (Tim) Eckhardt; grandmothers Mary Alice Stroud, Sharon Petit, and Arlette Eckhardt; her siblings Matthew Stroud, Brenton Stroud, Joe Petit, Josh (Brandy) Eckhardt, and Sarah (Zac) Hamlin; along with multiple nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and more family and friends than we can mention.
She was welcomed in heaven by her biological father, Michael Petit and grandparents John & Mary Jane Brenton, Don Stroud, & Larry Petit.
Amber’s hobbies were many - she was always up for travel and adventure. Her friends frequently turned to her for guidance on Apple IOS upgrades and spreadsheet formulas. Amber was an avid sports fan and frequently attended home games for Sporting KC, Kansas City Chiefs and Kansas Jayhawks and loved cheering on her girls in softball and soccer most of all. Amber made a celebration out of any every day activity. She was kind with an incredible sense of humor and never passed up an opportunity to help others.
Visitation will be Friday, November 25, 2022 from 5:00 P.M. until 7:00 P.M at Penwell Gabel Funeral Home, 1321 SW 10th Ave, Topeka, Kansas 66604. A Funeral Ceremony will be 1:00 P.M., Saturday, November 26, 2022 at the First Presbyterian Church, 817 SW Harrison St., Topeka. Cremation will follow the ceremony, as well as a private family committal for Amber. If you are unable to attend the services, the church will be live streaming it here: http://fpctopeka.org/worship/live-worship/
Memorial contributions may be made to the Amber Mertel Memorial Fund at any Azura Credit Union location. Contributions may also be mailed to the Parker Stroud and MacKenzie Mertel Scholarship Fund at Forbes Field Credit Union, 5920 SE Coyote Dr, Topeka, KS, 66619. For convenience, donation drop boxes will be available at both the visitation and funeral locations during services.
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