Bob was a unit attendant for 21 years and retired from Illinois Power Company after working for United Parcel Service (UPS) for 7 years. He also worked as a Sacristan at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows for 14 years. Bob ended his career as a bus driver for Gibault Catholic High School, Waterloo, IL. Bob was a devout Catholic. He was an active member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Smithton, IL where he was a member of the Holy Name Society and at St. Boniface Catholic Church, Evansville, IL. Most recently, Bob was an active member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Red Bud, IL. As a member of the Knights of Columbus, Bob was a Charter Member and Grand Knight of the St. John the Baptist Council #12152 in Red Bud and a Fourth Degree Member of the Fort Kaskaskia Assembly #1287 in Evansville. Bob was also a Scout Master and youth baseball coach for many years. He always enjoyed instilling important life lessons in all youth that had the privilege of having him as a leader.
Bob is remembered as a dedicated and loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, uncle, great uncle, Godfather and friend.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Stephen and Leona, nee Hennrich, Mertens; and a sister, Sister Stephanie Mertens, ASC.
Bob will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 56 years, Kathleen A. Mertens, nee Gleissner, whom he married on November 21, 1964, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Smithton, IL; four children, Maribeth (David) Hollinshead of Red Bud, IL, Christopher (Patricia) Mertens of O’Fallon, IL, Rebecca (Derek) Allard of Waterloo, IL, and Michael (Sheri) Mertens of Swansea, IL; 13 grandchildren, Jena (Carl) Hoeninger, Tara (Bradley) Uding, Alycia (Riley) Post, Tristan Fahey, Griffin Fahey, Lauren Fahey, Gracyn Fahey, Brianna Allard, Rachel Mertens, Sarah Mertens, Adam Mertens, Anna Mertens, and Parker Mertens; five great-grandchildren, Magdalene and Mabel Hoeninger, Ronan and Tristan Uding, and Rae Post; two sisters, Carol (John) Turbek of Lexington, KY, and Bonnie (Tom) Jung of Walsh, IL; a brother, Charles (Rose) Mertens of Smithton, IL; nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, and God-children.
Memorials may be made in the form of masses to be distributed to parishes of the family’s choice, or a Memorial fund to be utilized by the family in Bob’s memory. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.rennerfh.com.
The family would like to extend a special thank you for the care and compassion provided by the staff at Magnolia Terrace, Waterloo, IL.
Visitation: Friends may visit the family from 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 6, 2021, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Red Bud, IL.
Funeral: A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 6, 2021, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Red Bud, IL, with Msgr. Dennis Schaefer officiating.
Burial will be at St. Boniface Catholic Cemetery, Evansville, IL.