Gerald Mertens
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Gerald Mertens

- - Gerald Mertens died on January 11, 2019.

Jerry wrote his own obituary:

I have read and written many 'brag-sheets' in my life time. Some prepared for Christmas letters, promotions, resumes and job applications, as introductions and bios, and in elections for a variety of positions from church to political offices. The least appealing brag-sheet, to me, has been the obituary. I'm writing my own obituary in hopes of avoiding this one last brag-sheet after my death. I believe I can brag with the best of them but prefer not to.

Another traditional part of published obituaries I personally prefer to avoid is the list of survivors. My survivors know who they are. They have been fantastic for a lifetime, and they have been appreciated always. As for the rest of you, does it REALLY matter who my survivors are?

If I have my wishes, my funeral will be a private Mass celebration with my family and their invited guests at a time of their choosing.

My life has been a 'good run.' Thanks to all who helped make it this way! My request to you is that you work hard to help others have the best life possible.

Please do an act of kindness in my memory or a memorial donation of time or money to a good cause of you choosing, or one of my favorites would be Mary Magdalene First Apostle, A Roman Catholic Womenpriest Community, 1111 Cooper Ave. S., St. Cloud, MN 56301.

Peace Always,

Jerry Mertens




To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in St. Cloud Times on Jan. 15, 2019.
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31 entries
February 12, 2019
This is an announcement of a remembrance we're preparing for Jerry at ABAI in Chicago near the end of May. If any of you can attend, that would be wonderful.

Special Event
Remembering Gerald Mertens
Chair: Richard Malott (Western Michigan University)
Jerry Mertens was the founder of ABAI. If there had been no Jerry Mertens, there would be no ABAI, and you wouldnt be a member of this wonderful organization. The first meeting of ABAI was, in 1974, under the name of Organization Meeting: Midwestern Experimental Analysis of Behavior Group. The next year, we became MABA, then ABA, and now ABAI. But Jerry started it all. Jerry was not a scholar, not a researcher; he had an MA (from the University of Mississippi). Instead he was a teacher, at Saint Cloud State University, for 53 years, from 1965 to 2018. Jerry trained up the undergrads and then shipped them off to grad schools around the country. And every summer, for years, hed load a school bus full of undergrads and take them on a tour of the major behavioral centers around the country. If there had been no Jerry Mertens, there would be many people who would not be behavior analysts today. In recognition of his contribution to our field, ABAI has arranged a remembrance event with some remarks by a few close colleagues, as well as the opportunity for other attendees to speak in honor of Jerrys memory.
Dick Malott
Coworker
January 25, 2019
Rest in Peace Professor Mertens.

I am a parent of your former student who always spoke very highly of you. Your influence on our daughter was the best thing for her time at SCSU, and then on to Behavior Analysis Masters and PhD program. Great job sir! I am sure there are many students lives you changed for the better out there. It is a better world for them and everyone they encounter. Our deepest sympathies to your dear family, friends, coworkers and all of your students.
Liz Hintze
January 18, 2019
Memorable man! Great Professor! Thanks. RIP
Lisa
January 17, 2019
Jerry was an amazing man! I first met him when i was very young. I lived across the alley from him. He showed me magic, and thought that was the coolest thing ever! I did magic shows with him for many years. He would take me to his office at scsu and then we would go play basketball for hours. I will miss him greatly he was a huge part of my childhood, i rember when he acted as santa claus for my nices (and so many others) when they were so young. They loved i!! He will be forever missed. RIP Jerry you were a remarkable individual! May you do magic with jesus forever.
Eric Glinnon
January 17, 2019
I was a student of his back in about 1973. I thought he was the coolest old guy then. I guess he was - but not as old then as I thought. He was one of my favorite professors.
Jsanna Stewart
January 17, 2019
Janna Stewart
January 17, 2019
Jerry was one of my favorite professors at SCSU. He changed my life in many ways, including introducing me to behavior analysis. I was honored to be one of his TAs and wear the pigeon suit (even though it took some convincing). He will definitely be missed.
Bethany Hintze
January 16, 2019
I had Dr. Mertens as a prof WAY back when BF Skinner first come on the scene. Later he brought one of his kids down to the St. Germain, where I was playing piano bar, and requested "There Goes Peter Cottontail."
January 16, 2019
I was an "older" student of Jerry's. Not fitting the normal age group. He taught my ethics class and as the younger students were amazed with his magic I was amazed with his knowledge. Although we did not always agree on his test questions he would honestly listen to one I got wrong and I thought I got right. He took the time to explain things. Never brushing me off but never giving me an inch unless I earned it.

You will be missed be thousands of students you taught but missed most by the ones that you never got to teach. They missed a great professor.

Thank you....
Lonnie Folsom
January 16, 2019
Our best to all those who care about Jerry, from us at the Lovaas Institute Midwest in Minneapolis.
Eric Larsson
January 16, 2019
Gerry will be remembered for his mordant sense of humor, his magic, and his ardent defense of behaviorism in the Friday afternoon POETS discussion group/social hour. His magic way of charming children was endearing. He really seemed to enjoy becoming Santa Claus!

Gerry was a unique personality like the salt of Matthew 5:13, enlivening any group to which he belonged.

He will will be missed.
Arnold Lesikar
January 16, 2019
I knew Jerry for many years. He was an unwavering advocate of free thought, critical thought, clear thinking, and, most importantly, human kindness and understanding. An invariably cheerful and happy man. I feel very fortunate to have known him.
Gail Peterson
January 16, 2019
Nancy Mertens-Spadgenske
Daughter
January 16, 2019
Rest in peace my dear mentor! I felt so lucky and honored to be your student and TA at SCSU from 2012-2014. You are the most important person guiding me to this field. I learned so much from you, not just technical things, but more like being a professional, responsible, and helpful one. I remember that when i first became your TA, i was late on our meeting frequently, you were very angry, and told me, "If you are not punctual, and always being late, you will never be successful, you can't get into master program, and you should just go back to China." Hearing that was very aversive, but it changed my behavior. I hope what I am currently doing in China is what you expect from me, to help others have the best life possible.

Siqi Xie
Siqi Xie
January 16, 2019
Rest in peace my dear mentor! I felt so lucky and honored to be your student and TA at SCSU from 2012-2014. You are the most important person guiding me to this field. I learned so much from you, not just technical things, but more like being a professional, responsible, and helpful one. I remember that when i first became your TA, i was late on our meeting frequently, you were very angry, and told me, "If you are not punctual, and always being late, you will never be successful, you can't get into master program, and you should just go back to China." Hearing that was very aversive, but it changed my behavior. I hope what I am currently doing in China is what you expect from me, to help others have the best life possible.
Siqi Xie
January 15, 2019
Rest In Peace, Professor Mertens.
January 15, 2019
James A WIlliams jr
January 15, 2019
Mary. Martini
January 15, 2019
Rest In Peace Jerry! You will be missed.
Erin Van De Hey
January 15, 2019
I have visited and enjoyed my conversations with Jerry through the years on/off campus. He is always friendly and followed his own path to the end. Yes, I'll look for him near the Caribou coffee shop at Atwood.
Balsy Kasi
January 15, 2019
Balsy Kasi
January 15, 2019
Our condolences to the Merten family. We remember Jerry and family from an adoption organization that our families were a part of many years ago. We also knew him through his volunteer work and magic shows. He'll be missed.

Judy and Jerome Miller
Jerome & Judy Miller
January 15, 2019
An original to the end. My eternal light shine on him. Heaven's gain is our loss.
John Palmer
January 15, 2019
Thank you, Jerry for sharing your thoughts with all of us. We will honor your wishes through acts of kindness in our community. Thank you for the interactions you had with me and the chats we had about Racine. SCSU and our community was honored to have you be a part of it.
Dan McClure
January 15, 2019
I took the last "Psychology Tour" in the early 2000s with Jerry and Sylvia. It was an incredible experience, and Jerry had an incredible influence on me. My husband Barrie and I were so happy to see him and his family last summer in Salem, and we will definitely miss him. Peace always to Jerry! -Darlene & Barrie
Darlene Crone-Todd
January 15, 2019
I had seen him several times on Campus of St. Cloud State University and he was a very nice man.
Bill Byers
January 15, 2019
I just vacuumed his office this morning and I had no idea, Peace be wit you Jerry (Santa). Have seen several of your magic tricks at Newman years ago.
John Graber
January 15, 2019
Many fond memories of Gerry. My kids and
grandkids enjoyed his magic over many years.
Most popular place of Sunwood Inn.
Condolences to entire family. God Bless

don & jan watkins
Scottsdale, AZ
don watkins
January 15, 2019
Brady Phelps
January 15, 2019
I am so saddened to hear of the loss of Jerry Mertens. Jerry attended my church on camps, the Newman Center and was one of my favorite professors in the late 1980's. He loved education and loved to teach. He will be dearly missed by many in the SCSU community. He always had a warm and welcoming smile. Many of the young people in the area will remember him as Santa Claus and his famous magic shows in the St Cloud community.
Kenny Hendrickson
January 15, 2019
I first met Jerry Mertens as a student at St. Cloud State University. We found that we had shared similar views on women's equality, especially in the Catholic Church. Even after I graduated, he continued to support organizations I became involved in, both financially and through his volunteerism. He was such a caring human being, and was never afraid to stand up for what he believed in. Jerry, you will be greatly missed. I will most certainly do an act of kindness (along with combating the injustices in the Catholic Church) in your honor, as you wished! Remembering you and your loved ones, today and always.
Kelly
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