Vernon George Mertinke, 97, of rural Eau Claire, went home to his heavenly Father on Monday, June 21, 2021, at Marshfield Center Hospital in Eau Claire. Vern was the oldest of four children, born to Ida (Sell) and Ernest Mertinke. Vern attended Sunny View School, which now resides in Carson Park, and Lincoln Elementary. He attended Eau Claire Senior High School.
During World War II, he moved to Seattle, Washington with his mother, brother, and two sisters to work in the Boeing Aircraft factory. In Seattle he suffered a leg fracture from a motorcycle accident which changed his life: it made him ineligible to enlist in the war and caused him pain his entire life. After the war, he returned home and became a pilot. Later in life, he obtained his license for FAA Aircraft Inspector, which he maintained until his death.
Rose (Tweet) Mertinke was his first passenger in flight and later his wife. They were married on January 26, 1946 and had six children, 16 grandchildren, 31 great-grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren.
Throughout his life, Vern worked in many different industries as a mechanic, including owning his own auto and aircraft repair shops. His passions were flying, farming, friends, and family. He retired from Uniroyal in the 80’s and enjoyed many years of traveling with Rose.
Vern was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Donald, sister Dolores, brothers-in-law Raymond Von Ruden and Ervin Riedi, and love of his life, his wife, Rose. He is survived by his sister, Beverly Riedi of Racine; children Connie (Tom) Kastner of River Falls; Barbara (Jim) Nicolet of Strum; Pamela (Randy) Poquette of Rogers, AR; Douglas (Lisa) Mertinke of Eau Claire; Jeanne Larson (fiancé Todd Meyer) of Mondovi; Christine (Dale) Rodman of Eleva; grandchildren; nieces and nephews; and special friend Arlene.
Funeral services will be officiated by Pastor David Irgens at 11 am on Friday, June 25, 2021 at Saving Grace, 2124 East Ridge Center, Eau Claire, Wi 54701. Visitation will take place at the church prior to the service from 9:30 – 11:00 am. Committal services will take place in the Pleasant Valley Cemetery in the Township of Drammen on Friday afternoon.
The family would like to thank the staff of Care Partners and Marshfield Center Hospital Fourth floor doctors and nurses in Eau Claire.
Friends and family may offer condolences online at www.hulkefamilyfh.com. Hulke Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 3209 Rudolph Road, Eau Claire, WI 54701 is assisting the family with the arrangements.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Vernon "Vern G. Mertinke, please visit our floral store.