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John Joseph Mertz, 86, of Westernport, MD, passed away in his home, with his wife by his side, on Saturday, December 3, 2022.
Born in Westernport, he was the son of the late Francis Leo and Lucille Gertrude (Green) Mertz.
John was a warm smiling, goofy grinning, quietly joking, smart, mechanical, hungry man and an amazingly loving husband and father. John brought his wife coffee every morning and made a pizza every Friday and any time his kids or family were visiting. When his wife was the cook, he ate every crumb and told her how much he loved it every time over almost 60 years of marriage. Children and animals gravitated toward him and he deeply enjoyed connecting with them at their level.
He graduated from St. Peter's High School in 1954, attended Potomac State College, West Virginia University, Marquette University, and earned his degree in education from Frostburg State College. He spent his 31-year career teaching Mathematics at Allegany High School and the Cresaptown Vo Tech Career Center. He authored the highly regarded technical research paper, Dynamic Stress Loads in Bituminous Coal-Bearing Substrata, resulting from a collaboration with several other local luminaries such as Brown Kooken, Clyde Broadwater, Scoop Kline, Pip Skidmore, and Buckwheat Bateson.
John was a lifelong fan of baseball and softball, member of the Cow Pasture Baseball Club Hall of Fame, and got great joy from teaching and coaching his sons in little league and scholastic baseball. He enjoyed golf, gardening, reading and planning home improvement projects, some of which he actually completed.
He was active in the local leadership of and was a fourth-degree member of the Knights of Columbus, a member of Victory Post 155 of the American Legion, a lector, parish council member, and choir member at St. Peter's parish in Westernport, and worked many hours at bingo games supporting St. Peter's School and Bishop Walsh High School.
John is survived by his wife, Mary Anne (nee Meyers); three children, Mary Jo O'Brien and her spouse Jim, John and his spouse Janine, and Joe and his spouse Christina; seven grandchildren, Mike, Sean, and Cecilia O'Brien, Jaimie, Julia, and Jenna Mertz, and Alexandra Mertz; and two great-grandchildren, Rowan and Luke O'Brien; as well as his brothers, Jim and George; and many loving nieces, nephews, and other much-loved family. Preceding him in death were his sons, Francis and Michael; grandson, Jack; sister, Mary Elsen; brother, Tom Mertz; nieces, Ann Elsen and Debbie Langan; brothers- and sisters-in-law, Bev Mertz, Bill Elsen, Jack Meyers, Fred Meyers, Jeannie Meyers, Frank Gavin, and Gary Rymer.
Friends will be received at the Fredlock Funeral Home, 31 Jones St., Piedmont, WV on Tuesday, December 6, 2022, from 4 to 7 PM. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Wednesday, December 7, 2022, at 11 AM in Divine Mercy, St. Peter of Westernport with Fr. Ed Hendricks as celebrant.
In lieu of flowers the family request the memorials be made to St. Jude Children Research Hospital 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.
Tuesday, December 6, 2022
4:00 - 7:00pm (Eastern time)
Fredlock Funeral Home
Wednesday, December 7, 2022
Starts at 11:00am (Eastern time)
Divine. Mercy St. Peters in Westernport
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