Walter was born, the son of Walter and Laura (Horn) Mertens on January 11, 1940 in Detroit, Michigan. He moved to Farwell as a child and graduated from Farwell Area High School in 1958. After graduation he joined the U.S. Army 82nd Airborn serving in Germany and France. After the service he spent time in Wisconsin painting electrical towers. Upon returning to Michigan he worked construction with various builders including his bother with Mertens Builders. Walter lived in both the Farwell and Gladwin areas. In 1987 he moved to Pontiac, MI where he worked for the Detroit Carpenters Union. He then acquired his MI builder’s license and became self- employed. Later he was employed by Builder’s Square and Home Depot in Pontiac and Mt. Pleasant. His most recent employment was at Jay’s Sporting Goods in Clare, MI; a job that he truly enjoy due to his love of the archery, hunting, fishing, and the great outdoors. He also enjoyed watching football and baseball games. Walter’s love of the outdoors carried over to his perfectly kept yard and gardens at each of the homes he lived.
Walter took pride in his service to the Lord beginning with his baptismal in the Cedar River near Beaverton and becoming a member of the Emanuel Baptist church while residing in Pontiac. After moving back to Lake George, in 1999, he attended Brown Corners Church where he participated in a mission trip to Louisiana after hurricane Katrina, a variety of church services such as usher, church dinners, Angel Food Ministries, and Small Group Studies. When he moved back to Wisconsin he attended the Eagle Brook Church in White Bear Lake, WI.
Walter enjoyed entertaining family and friends at his home. He especially enjoyed the many family reunions where as many as 80 or more would enjoy good food, golf practice, baseball games, swimming, and water tag in the Cedar River that flowed through his Gladwin property.
Walter is survived by his wife Carla (McMahon) Mertens, his mother Laura Pike, his children Laurie (Don) Lovely of Albany, NY, Christopher (Juanita) Mertens of Vestaberg MI, Robyn Mertens of Florida, and Kristina Frick of Arizonia. He is also survived by his step-children Robert (Alisa) Wood of Beaverton, James Wood of Colorado, Janelyn Waldera of WI, Jeneane (Tim) Klemann of WI, Angela (Andrew) Gonzeles of MN, and Brandon McMahon of MN, one brother Gerald (Delores) Mertens of Lake, one step brother Tommy Pike of Tennessee, one step sister Janee (Tim) Morrison of Florida, 21 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren, one aunt Eunice (Paul) Ballard of Gladwin, many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Preceding Walter in death are his son Aaron Mertens, father Walter J. Mertens, and step-father Manville T. Pike.
A Memorial Service will be held at the United Brethren Brown Corners Church in Clare MI on Saturday, November 16, 2003 with Visitation at 10:30 A.M., Service 12:00 P.M., and Dinner to follow. Officiating will be Pastor Jeremiah Ketchum. Interment will be in Hixton, WI. Memorials may be made to Brown Corners Church 5540 S. Clare Ave. Clare, MI, or The American Cancer Society.