Paul A. Mertens

Written by Theresa Rose on June 29, 2015

Paul A. Mertens, 91, of Mt. Pleasant, died Friday, June 26, 2015 at the Pleasant Manor Care Center in Mt. Pleasant.
A funeral mass for Mr. Mertens will be celebrated at 10:30 AM on Tuesday, June 30 at the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church, 607 S. Jackson Street, Mount Pleasant. Father Joseph Phung will celebrate the mass. Burial will be in the St. Alphonsus Cemetery, Mt. Pleasant, with graveside military honors conducted by the Henry County Honor Guard. Friends may call from 12 Noon to 3:00 PM on Monday, June 29 at the Kimzey Funeral Home, 213 N. Main St., Mt. Pleasant. Visitation will continue from 4 PM – 9 PM on Monday at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church. The Rosary will be recited at 7:00 PM by the Knights of Columbus Father John Manning Council #7294. The family will receive friends following the rosary.
Those considering an expression of sympathy may direct memorials to Camp Courageous or St. Alphonsus Catholic Church. Online condolences may be directed to
Paul Alger Mertens was born September 7, 1923 in St. Paul, Iowa. He was the son of Edward Clay and Mary Mayme (Denning) Mertens. Paul moved with his family to the Mt. Pleasant area when he was 3. He graduated as Salutatorian from St. Alphonsus High School in 1941.On January 30, 1947 at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church, Paul was united in marriage to Betty Lou Swan. Betty died December 9, 2000 in at Mercy Hospital in Iowa City. On May 7, 2003 in the chapel of the First United Methodist Church in Mt. Pleasant, Paul was united in marriage to JoAnn Jean Walstead Straight Mills.
Following his graduation from High School, Paul worked in construction in Nebraska. In 1943, Paul was called to the service of his country. He enlisted in the United States Army and was stationed with the 277th Port Company, which was in charge of loading and unloading war ships. His company saw service stateside, in Guam and New Zealand. Paul has honorably discharged in 1945.
Paul became employed at the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant in Middletown, IA where he learned the pipe fitting trade. He then became a Union Pipe Fitter, working for various construction companies which called upon the union for pipefitters. For the last 15 years of his career, Paul was a Superintendent in the Pipe Fitters Union. During his time as a Pipe Fitter, he purchased a farm just south of the Oakland Mills area, rural Mt. Pleasant where he raised crops and livestock. He retired and moved into Mt. Pleasant in 1996. He began to be a “winter bird”, starting in Florida, Arizona and Texas and settling to spend the winter months at Adobe Wells Park in McAllen, TX.
Paul was a member of St. Alphonsus Catholic Church where he served on the church council. He was also very active in the operation of St. Alphonsus’ Food Tent during the Midwest Old Threshers Reunion. He was a member of Knight of Columbus Father John Manning Council #7294. Paul was a 50+ year member of the American Legion Robert Tribby Post #58 and a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #2561, both of Mt. Pleasant. Paul loved to square dance, and was a member of a square dance club.
Those thankful for sharing in Paul’s life include his wife JoAnn of Mt. Pleasant; 4 sons – Ed Mertens and his wife Marlene of Ely, IA, Joe Mertens and his wife Terry of New London, IA, Richard Mertens and his wife Teresa of Mt. Pleasant and Phil Mertens of Cedar Rapids; 2 daughters – Patricia Mertens of Cheney, Washington and Lucy Hummell and her husband Dwaine of Mt. Pleasant; a son-in-law – Dave Andersen and his wife Becky of Adel, IA 17 grandchildren – Sarah Harrison, Kathryn Gisleson, Jason, Joel and Jayna Andersen, Jesse Plowman, Laura Mertens-Plowman, George Hard, Jr., Andrea Hudson, Kent Hummell, Zachary, Elaina and Thaddius Mertens, Melanie and Jennifer Montgomery, Jennith Kirkbride and Jolene Hassenfritz, and numerous great grandchildren.
His parents, first wife Betty, a daughter – Paula Andersen, a granddaughter – Helen Mertens, 4 brothers – Henry, Bernard, Fredrick and Ralph Mertens and a sister – Anna Marie Mertens, precede Paul in death.