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Richard Stanley Mertz

Richard (Dick) Stanley Mertz

Dick Mertz passed away at home peacefully in Rancho Santa Fe on December 16th, 2012. He was surrounded by his loving family and devoted caregivers. He was 88 years old. Born, at home, in Harbor City in 1924 to Fay and Otto Mertz, he was the youngest of three children. Dick served his country during WW II in the Navy, stationed in the Pacific. His experiences in the Navy were very memorable to him. Farming was in his blood. Beginning with his truck-farm days, plowing behind his horse Joe, to forming with brother Bill and partners, American Plant Growers in Lomita. APG became one of the largest bedding plant growers on the West Coast. Employees thought of themselves as one big family. Married to Alyce for 65 years, they were loyally devoted to each other, and were a team through thick and thin. Upon their retirement, they made their home in Rancho Santa Fe, North San Diego County. Throughout his life, Dick was a devoteé of fitness and sports. He excelled at football at Narbonne High School (Go Gauchos!), and was a lifelong athlete, enjoying golf, tennis, trap and skeet shooting, as well as water and snow skiing. He loved the great outdoors and had many adventures, especially at the family cabin in Scottsburg, Oregon. Dick believed in fair play, was an optimist at heart, and was generous to family and those in need. He always looked forward to a new day, starting each by singing "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning". His was a life well-lived. From very humble beginnings, he worked hard and succeeded in many diverse enterprises. He was truly a one-of-a-kind guy, and the void he leaves with his passing is a huge one for all of us.
Dick is survived by his wife, Alyce; daughters, Chris (Ron) and Pam (George); brother, Bill Mertz (Joelene) and sister Jenny Heston; grandsons, Ky, Sean and Zack and great-grandsons Michael and Aidan. And many other much loved close family members, and dogs, Opal and Hamlet. The family is deeply grateful to caregivers John Pollock, Steve Shires, and Rich Manuccia, who kept Dick going for years with much caring and love. Services will be at Green Hills Memorial Park in Rancho Palos Verdes on Thursday, December 20th at 1:00 PM. Reception to follow at Rolling Hills Golf Club. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Elizabeth Hospice, http://elizabethhospice.org or to Cure PSP at http://www.psp.org/. Please sign the guest book at www.dailybreeze.com/obits.

Published in Daily Breeze on Dec. 19, 2012
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