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Richard “Dick” Alan Mertig

June 16, 2022 | 5 comments

Richard Alan Mertig age 79 of Black River Falls, Wisconsin, passed away peacefully on June 13th, 2022. He was born on March 20th, 1943 in Milwaukee, WI to Richard August and Laura Fredricka Mertig. He married Kathleen Ann Drmolka on August 24th 1968, in Wild Rose, WI.

In 1945, he moved to Hayward, WI with his parents and graduated from Hayward High School in 1961. He received his B.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in January 1966, with majors in biology and resource management.

Richard was employed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources from 1966 to 1998, and was stationed in Wild Rose, Horicon, and Black River Falls. Furthermore, Richard was one of the earliest employees of The Bureau of Real Estate, created in 1973. He continued on and retired in 1998 as a Western Region Real Estate Specialist.

In addition to his civilian life, Richard served in the Wisconsin Army National Guard from 1966 to 1972.  He was stationed in Waupaca, Stevens Point, Neillsville, and Black River Falls. He provided support in the Milwaukee Race Riots and Madison Anti-War Riots during 1967.

Through continued faithfulness to his community, Richard served three terms (nine years) on the Black River Falls City Council, and three years on the Black River Falls Regional Police Commission. He was also a member of the Black River Falls Jaycees for five years and received the Key Man Award in 1972. His presence extended further into the Black River Falls Lions Club for forty-five years, where he was president from 1984 to 1985, program chairman for twenty years, and the recipient of the Melven Jones Award in 2011.

After retirement from the Wisconsin D.N.R., his time was spent attending car shows throughout the Midwest, and painting house interiors.  He also worked for the Jackson County Circuit Court as a small claim’s mediator, was a member of the State Lawyer Regulation Committee, and was a Court Appointed Personal Representative for several contested estates.

Richard enjoyed Canadian fishing trips with his friends, traveling with his family, car shows, and gardening. After Lions Club meetings, you would often find him rehashing discussions at the Skyline Golf Course Bar. On the other hand, it was acknowledged that he disliked large crowds, mean people, and the occasional discussion of radical self-serving politics.

Survived by wife Kathy, children Laura Mertig (Gene Arentz) of Onalaska, WI; Jeffrey Mertig of Chippewa Falls, WI; and Daniel Mertig (Tina Proeber) of Savannah, Georgia; grandchildren Adam and Owen Pfaff, Dillon and Dustin Arentz, Jillian and Jayton Mertig, and Lily and Jack Mertig.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Richard and Laura.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Friday June 24th from 2pm-4pm at the Skyline Golf Course (612 N. 11thStreet Black River Falls). In Lieu of Flowers, memorials are preferably directed to Friends of the Black River, Black River Falls Lions Club, PBS TV and radio, and Kathy’s House (9101 West Doyne Ave Milwaukee, WI 53226).



  1. Warren and Diane Baitinger

    Our sincere condolences to Kathy and all the kids and grandkids. Lots of fond memories!

    • Mike Colligan

      I got to know Dick in his early years as a resident of Wild Rose Wisconsin where we would gather after the nightly closing of the local Standard Gas station owned by the Lauritzen Family and the story telling time would begin! It was a laugh a minute! About 1966.
      Those were absolutely fun times!
      Dick later married a beautiful lady …Kathy Dramolka! Her and her family were our Nieghbors on the farm!
      Wonderful memories!
      Wonderful Man Dick Mertig! We will sure miss you my old friend!
      Mike Colligan

  2. Jeff Amo

    The Mertig family lived across the street from us for many years. Dick had the best yard in the neighborhood, by far. He was a fine neighbor who was willing to pitch-in whenever needed. His service on the City Council and his Lion’s Club membership showed his love for the community. I am proud to say that Dick was a friend of mine!

  3. Tammy and Mike Zindrick

    Dick was a special person. So generous and willing to help in any way.
    We were blessed to have him in our life. Our condolences to Kathy and the rest of the family. He will be missed. Rest in Peace Dick!

  4. Jenny (Frost) Haldorson

    My sincere sympathies……I have many fond memories of Dick and “typing” up his legal descriptions at DNR for many years. Will always remember his good nature and preciseness, along with his jokes. Even though I left 23 years ago, I still thought of all of my DNR work family, part of my family. He was always willing to help me out if I needed anything. Great man! My condolences to you Kathy and your family.


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