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Donald James Mertens

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October 13, 1925 - August 7, 2014 Don passed away peacefully in his sleep on Thursday, August 7, 2014. He was enjoying his days at the Motion Picture Television Villa, recently filming "The Okie Dokie" show and welcoming the constant stream of family coming to visit. Don was born in Pierre, South Dakota on October 13, 1925 to Joseph F. Mertens and Edna Sullivan Mertens. He had two brothers, Bob and Buddy. Don was still an infant when his family moved to Hollywood, CA where Don attended St. Ambrose Elementary School and Loyola High School. His free time was spent going to the movies and playing tennis with his friends at Poinsettia Park. It was at this time that he began to collect an array of tennis trophies from playing in local tournaments. Don was still a teenager when he joined the Army Air Corps in World War II and married the love of his life, Virginia Reamer, who became his wife of 66 years and the mother of his seven children. Don worked at Technicolor for over 40 years, where he was active in Local 683. After retiring, Don and Ginny became volunteers at the Motion Picture Television Fund for several years with Don serving part of that time as president of the Volunteer Guild. Don will always be remembered for his dedication to the Democratic Party and his lifelong enthusiasm for a robust discussion of politics. He will also be remembered for his sharp and ever-present sense of humor. Don is survived by six of his children, Mike Mertens (Kathie), Penny Mertens LaPreziosa(Ralph), Donald James Mertens Jr.(Marne), Patricia Mertens Schulz, Robert Mertens (Susan) and Jane Mertens Gist (Jeb). Don is predeceased by his wife, Virginia, and his daughter Pamela Mertens Gunn (Mike). In addition, Don leaves behind 18 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. He will be missed by all of us. For information on Don's memorial service, please visit http://www.piercebrothersvalleyoaks.com. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Don's name to the Motion Picture Health and Welfare Fund, 22388 Mulholland Dr., Woodland Hills, 91364.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Aug. 14 to Aug. 15, 2014
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