James R. Mertes, son of the late Ray and Rita Mertes, passed away at home February 23, 2021. Jim lived a peaceful life. Each day was thought out, well organized and lived with intention. He kept track of everything and everyone and always volunteered his help wherever and whenever he could. If his own plan did not get accomplished, it gave purpose to the next day. He appreciated every moment of every day which showed by the constant smile on his face. Never rushed and never disappointed, he was faithful to his agenda but always put his wife, their girls, and their families first.
Born May 25, 1941 in Canton, Jim spent summers on the family farm in Jefferson, Ohio. He and his wife, Donna Clarke, met at Central Catholic High School, graduated with the class of 1959, and married in 1963. He earned undergraduate and graduate Business degrees from John Carroll University and was proud to have his four daughters and five of his grandchildren attend John Carroll. He served two years as Second Lieutenant in the United States Army.
Jim worked 43 years with The Timken Company during which he and his family were transferred to The Dustin Timken Plant in Northampton, England. There they made life-time friends with Alf and Marie Harrison and family. For 17 years, Jim was plant manager in New Philadelphia, Ohio. His last 10 years with Timken included over 36 trips to China to help establish a joint venture in Yantai.
Jim was close to his grandchildren and proud to share his ‘growing up in Canton’ traditions with them including HOF, Woody’s, Taggarts, Milk and Honey, Heggy’s, and Kennedy’s BBQ.
Jim and Donna, with the Central Catholic class of 1959, were involved in planning and faithfully attending class gatherings. He volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, St. John’s Samaritan’s Table, and Junior Achievement. While in New Philadelphia, he served on Boards for Tuscarawas Central Catholic High School, Tuscarawas Public Library, Huntington Bank, Tuscora Park and was a member of Rotary Club. With Father Joe Feta, Jim helped to establish a shared home in Campora, Italy for the Figli di San Giuseppe.
Jim is survived by his wife of 57 years, four daughters, Christine (Bill) McHugh, Monica (Mike) McGervey, Lori (Matt) Hiestand, and Marcy Mertes; also John (Lisa) Gaetano and Bink (Amber) Ravine, whom he loved as his own. Ten grandchildren, Joseph (Clara), Megan, Mary Kate McHugh, Michael, Matthew, Julianne, Nicole McGervey, Rachel, Katie, Sarah Hiestand. He will be missed by longtime friend Ed Keck and siblings, Richard (Michele) Mertes and MaryAnn (Harold) Fishbaugh, sisters-in-law Suzanne (John) Evrard, Joyce (Dan) Soehnlen, and Cindy (Ken) Zielaskiewicz.
Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated at Christ the Servant Parish in Our Lady of Peace Church March 3rd at 7:00 pm with COVID restrictions. Monsignor Lewis F. Gaetano will preside with Father Ed Keck as homilist. For those unable to attend, streaming is available at https://youtu.be/Ivpd9izaZ54. Committal service at St. Peter’s Cemetery March 4th at 10:00 am. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Jim may be made to St. Thomas Aquinas High School, 2121 Reno Drive NE, Louisville, Ohio 44641. The Wackerly Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. For those unable to attend services you may register on line at our: “On Line Registry Page” at www.wackerlyfuneralhome.com.
(Wackerly 330 455-5235)
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