Obituary: THOMAS RAY MERTENS
December 15, 1946 – September 23, 2022
Thomas Ray Mertens, 75, of Windsor, CO passed away on Friday, September 23, 2022, surrounded by his family after complications from his recent motorcycle accident. Tom was born to Raymond and Mary Mertens on December 15, 1946, in Greeley, CO, and was the first of five children. He grew up in New Raymer, CO and was part of the last class to graduate from Raymer High School in 1964. He went on to take classes in business and agriculture from Northeastern Junior College before joining the United States Navy in 1967 during the Vietnam War. In both school and the service, he made and maintained friends that he still stays in close contact with today.
After returning home from the service in 1971, Tom took classes at Colorado State University but left in 1972, for a farmland opportunity and started a partnership with his brother Paul, which he is still is a part of today. The brothers started farming and ranching on the family farm west of New Raymer, and started Mertens Bros Inc, in 1980 when Jim joined the operation. Farming was his lifelong passion and sharing that love and knowledge with all was what brought him joy, but being able to share what he built with his grandchildren made him the proudest. In April 1980, he married Shirley Brandt, and together they raised 4 children, Greg, Brad, Ryan and Allison in their family home below Pawnee Pass just west of Sterling until Tom retired in 2010. Tom and Shirley then started on their next adventure, having to no longer shovel snow and “deal with the cold” and started traveling south for the winter months. Making this permanent in 2015 by moving to Mesa, Arizona to live on a golf course and swim every day in the pool.
To say he was loved by all who met him is an understatement. It seemed that there was never a person Tom did not know and he made friends and conversation everywhere he went. He joked that after retirement he was busier than when he was working. He never said no to anyone and was always there to lend a helping hand. There was nothing it seemed that he could not fix or build. Tom was active in the Arizona Commemorative Air Force and traveled with the B-17 & B-52 bombers for several weeks each summer. He was an active member of every church he and Shirley attended, grill master for the Lion’s Club, part of the Logan County Planning and Zoning Commission, and served on the Board of Directors for Wiggins Telephone Association from 1985-2011, serving as President for 11 of those years. In his retirement, Tom was found traveling the country with the fifth wheel, riding his Harley Davidsons, going to car shows with his Pontiac Star Chief (same car he had after high school), playing golf and swimming in his pool in Mesa, and spending time with family and friends. All were always welcome, and no one would leave hungry, the grill was almost always fired up with steak and potatoes as his signature dish. Tom’s proudest moments were watching the successes of his children but especially his grandchildren. Even up to his final moments, his grandchildren would bring a smile to his face and comfort to his heart.
Tom is survived by his wife of 42 years, Shirley; 4 children, sons Greg (Lori) Sharp of Greeley, Brad (Karen) Sharp of Boston, Ryan (Robin) Mertens of Pueblo West and daughter Allison (Carson) Summers of Windsor. 10 grandchildren that were the highlight of his life, Sydney, Katrina, Alice, Annabelle, Cameron, Natalie, Margot, Mason, Jackson, and Hudson. Siblings, Ruth (Lee) Fritz of Greeley, Paul (Ann) Mertens of New Raymer, John (Lorraine) Mertens of Brush, and Jim (Danelle) Mertens of New Raymer. In-Laws, Bill Brandt of Loveland and Ed (Jodi) Brandt of Sterling. As well as several very close cousins, nieces, nephews, naval comrades, and numerous friends. Tom was greeted in heaven by his parents, Ray and Mary Mertens, in-laws, Henry & Esther Brandt, Chuck Brandt, Edna & Russ Harrach, and Ruth Brandt and countless other loved ones.
A celebration of life will be held at the Berean Church in Sterling, CO on Saturday, October 1, 2022, at 10:30 AM. We will have a short memorial service with an honor guard and a luncheon immediately following. All are welcome to attend. We will also have a virtual service available at the following URL (http)
The family would like to thank Medical Center of the Rockies ER and Surgical ICU teams for their compassionate care during Tom’s stay. We’d also like to thank all of the family and friends for their support, prayers, stories and well wishes from the time of Tom’s accident to now. He truly treasured each person in his life.
Respectfully request no flowers, donations can be made in his honor to the New Raymer FFA, care of Katie Hatch 42315 WCR 133, New Raymer, CO 80742, or Arizona Commemorative Air Force, 2017 N. Greenfield Rd., Mesa, AZ 85215.