Dorothy A. Mertz

Dorothy Anne Mertz, age 83, of Hilbert died on Wednesday, December 11, 2019 at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center in Appleton.  She was born February 15, 1936 in Appleton, the youngest of five daughters to the late Albert and Hertha (Harder) Bergelin.  

She attended Sherman Public School near her home on the corner of BB and Killsnake Rd. before attending Chilton High School.  As a high school junior, she met the love of her life, Eugene Mertz, at a basketball game.  The meeting, which was arranged by both of their best friends, led to a lifetime of endearing love centered on their love of God, family, and their community.  Following their graduation in 1953, Dorothy and Eugene were married on June 10, 1954 at St. Luke Lutheran Church in rural Chilton.

Dorothy was always by Eugene’s side working on the family farm and raising their children in the Town of Rantoul. They were a solid team and she served as chief emotional counsel for decisions impacting their family and business. Often giving advice with a soothing smile and a sense that regardless of outcome, you were loved.  Dorothy appreciated time spent tending to the flowers of her garden and canning vegetables raised by her hand. She was an outstanding cook and baker whose culinary creations sparked her family’s fine appreciation for good food and delectable desserts.  In addition to her homemade pickles and baked goods, her grandchildren especially appreciated Grandma’s Snack Drawer, knowing that each time they came to visit, there would be a solid opportunity for a treat held within.

Being civic minded, Dorothy assisted in the Town of Rantoul for the elections.  She was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Rantoul where she was active in the Ladies Aid and church choir.  She loved all things music and sang in a harmonic trio with two of her sisters at weddings and church functions. Her piano brought joy and calming moments as she played her favorite songs and often served as a prime seating area during family gatherings.  Dorothy especially loved Christmas music around the holidays, and she wasn’t afraid to play those tunes all year round.  She also looked forward to Saturday mornings when she could turn on the radio and listen to the Jerry Schneider show.  

Wisconsin sports were a way to relax and enjoy life for Dorothy as well.  She followed the Bucks and the Badgers, but she was always sure to pay extra close attention to her beloved Brewers.

Of all the many blessings Dorothy treasured through life, her greatest joy was her beloved family.  Nothing would bring a smile to her face like that of her husband, children and grandchildren all gathering together for a family pow-wow.  

She will be greatly missed by her husband: Eugene; her children: Dale (Brenda) Mertz, Cheryl Koehler, Joanne (Jerry) Kolbe, Linda (John) Schwobe, Gary (Terri) Mertz, Kelly (Tim) Peer; 17 grandchildren: Sara (Adam) Stenz,  Kyle Mertz, Joseph (Michelle) Koehler, Nicholas (Angie) Koehler, Richard (Tabatha) Koehler, Pamela (Eric) Zastrow, Jennifer Koehler, Joy Kolbe, Terri (Jim) Rockhill, Dustin (Martha) Schwobe, Megan (Andy) VanHoorn, McKayla, Mason & Madison Mertz, Allison & Cassie & Josie Peer; 14 great grandchildren; 2 sisters: Evelyn Schmidt, Florence Lemke; and her sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law: Natalie Prahl, Vonnie (Ronnie) Schoen, Barb (Vic) Krepline, Vivian Taylor & Gordon Starfeld.  She is further survived by nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.  

She was preceded in death by her parents; a daughter: Beth Mertz; a son-in-law: Tom Koehler; a grandchild: Cody Peer; 2 sisters: Irene (Harold) Duchow, Alice (Don) Bowers; and her sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law: Merlin “Buddy”  Schmidt, William Lemke, Lenette Starfeld, Wayne Wittmann & Reuben Prahl.  

Funeral service will be at 11:00 am on Monday, December 16, 2019 at Trinity Lutheran Church – Rantoul (N6081 West River Road Hilbert) with Rev. Mark Wilkens officiating.  Burial will be in the Parish Cemetery.  Friends may call at the Wieting Family Funeral Home (411 W. Main St.) in Chilton from 3:00 pm until 6:30 pm on Sunday, December 15, 2019 and Monday at the church from 9:30 am until 10:45 am.

Dorothy’s family would like to extend a warm thank you to the First Responders and her entire care team, especially Dr. Peter Katz, her primary care provider Scott Schuldes, APNP., and Calumet County Home Health Care.