Obituary: Mary Jo Mertz

Obituary: Mary Jo MertzMary Jo Mertz passed away on Feb. 7, 2014. She was 83.

Services for Mary Jo will be held on Friday, Feb. 21, at 1 p.m. at the H. K. Holland Memorial Chapel in Ridgecrest.

Mary Jo was born on Jan. 4, 1931, to Ben and Opal Arvish in Anaconda, Mont. She moved with her family to Lancaster, Calif., when she was 9 years old. She attended school in Lancaster and graduated from Antelope Valley High School in 1949, where she met Harry Mertz. They were high-school sweethearts.

She worked for American Telephone and Telegraph in Huntington Park, Calif.

She and Harry were married on Valentine’s Day, 1951, while he was serving in the U. S. Army. Later,they moved to Rosamond and lived there from 1952 to 1974. They had three children. Mary Jo and Harry next lived in Oregon, then Dana Point, Calif.

`They came to Ridgecrest in 1982. That was the year they started Mertz Construction Company here. Mary Jo was the secretary and treasurer. Together, they completed more than 300 contracts for the Navy at China Lake. She even had her own contractor’s license for a while. In 2000 Mary Jo retired and stayed home to be a housewife.

Mary Jo went into Ridgecrest Home Health Care with Alzheimer’s in 2012. She and Harry would have been married for 63 years on Feb. 14, 2014. She missed that anniversary by only one week.

Mary Jo is survived by her loving husband Harry, son Keith and spouse Eddie of Idaho, son-in-law Craig Yeargain and his wife, Debie, sisters Betty Shamblin and Alice Simmons and grandchildren Chad Yeargain and Michelle Perks.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Ben and Opal Arvish, son Danny and daughter Cyndi.

She will be missed by all who knew her.

Submitted by the family of Mary Jo Mertz

Story First Published: 2014-02-19