James Louis Mertens U.S. Veteran

March 7, 1938 - July 10, 2012

James Louis Mertens, 74, of St. Martins, died Tuesday, July 10, 2012, at his home. He was born March 7, 1938, in Jefferson City, a son of Louis and Leona (Hentges) Mertens. He attended St. Peter Catholic School and St. Peter High School in Jefferson City and was a 1957 graduate of Jefferson City High School. James owned and operated Mertens Live Bait and Tackle and had previously owned and operated Mertens Market in Jefferson City and 1 Hour Martinizing Cleaners in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and Jefferson City. He also had been employed with Wilson's Foods and Larry's Honda and had served in the Missouri National Guard. He was an active member of St. Martin Catholic Church. James really believed in family time and enjoyed his children and grandchildren. He loved playing cards anytime, but especially with his Monday and Thursday night groups. He loved working puzzles with his wife and grandkids and traveling to Mississippi. James took great pride in the appearance of his property, spending countless hours manicuring his lawn. On February 4, 1961, James was united in marriage in Jefferson City to Judith A. Ray. On November 28, 1981, he was united in marriage in California to Carolyn K. Kendrick, who survives at their home. Other survivors include five daughters: Lori Elliott Shikles of Russellville, Shelley Mertens Smith and husband Joe of Jefferson City, Karla Mertens McGee and husband Vince of Mt. Sterling, Sheila Elliott Thomas and husband Scott of Holts Summit, Brooke Mertens Poskin and husband Stephen of Cedar Hill; five siblings: Paul "P.J." Mertens and wife Linda of Rolla, Judy Burrows and husband Robert of Linn, Gerald Mertens and wife Victoria of Alabama, Kathy McClure, Karl Mertens and wife Tammy, all of Jefferson City; his mother-in-law, Virginia Kendrick of California; 13 grandchildren: Kent Shikles, Kelsey Shikles, Ryan Shikles, Makenzie Smith, Madison Smith, Woody Buck, Vincent McGee Jr., Crystal McGee, T.J. McGee, Star McGee, Savannah Thomas, Cody Poskin, Gage Poskin; and seven great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; one sister, Barbara McBaine; one grandson, Tanner Lee Smith; and a son-in-law, Kenny Shikles. Friends will be received from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. Thursday at the Houser-Millard Funeral Home, where a prayer service will be held at 3:30 p.m. Additional visitation will be from 9:00 to 9:45 a.m. Friday, July 13, 2012, at the St. Martin Catholic Church, where Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m. with Fr. Edwin A. Schmidt officiating. Interment will follow in the St. Martin Catholic Church Cemetery. Expressions of sympathy may be made to St. Martin Catholic Church. Arrangements are under the direction of HOUSER-MILLARD Funeral Directors, 2613 W. Main St., (573) 636-3838. Condolences may be left for the family online at

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