Joan Mary (Haupert) Mertz was born on a farm in rural Bancroft, Iowa, on November 16, 1933, daughter of John L. and Mildred (Schiltz) Haupert. She grew up on a farm south of Burt, Iowa, and attended grade school and high school at St. John's in Bancroft, graduating in 1951.
On July 17, 1957, she was united in marriage to Merlin "Shorty" Mertz at St. John's Catholic Church in Bancroft. Joan and Shorty had three children, Steve, Julie, and Craig. Together they made their home in Algona, Iowa.
Joan held a variety of jobs including, at Security State Bank, Duncan Garden Center, Mid-West Printing Co. and Wiltgen Jewelers in Algona.
Joan filled her life with the joy of engaging in a variety of activities and hobbies. Joan was an excellent athlete. In Joan's younger years she played softball with a group of women called the "Red Hots." They played softball into their 40's. She began playing golf in her 40's, following the end of her softball career, winning numerous local women's golf tournaments. Joan was an avid fisherman, and, at her insistence, she and Shorty bought their first of many fishing boats in the 1980s and spent hundreds of hours fishing with friends and family. Joan loved playing cards. She enjoyed tending her flower garden and feeding the birds. She loved to make quilts, needlework, woodworking, baking and many other crafts. Not only were several of her projects showcased in her home, but her children and grandchildren were often the recipients of those items, including elaborate Christmas stockings she made for all of them. When Joan wasn't busy with these activities, you could find her playing cards with members of the Hospital Auxiliary 500 or the St. Cecelia 500 Round Robin clubs. She loved watching sports, especially the Iowa Hawkeyes, the Minnesota Twins and Vikings, and Bishop Garrigan High School athletics. But no matter how busy she was, Joan always had time for the greatest joy in life: her family and friends. She never missed any of her childrens' and grandchildrens' theater, sporting, singing and dance events and traveled often to make sure she could be there to see them.
She was a member of St. Cecelia Catholic Church, Catholic Daughters of America where she served as past treasurer, and Kossuth County Hospital Auxiliary.
Joan died Tuesday, February 15, 2022 at Kossuth Regional Health Center in Algona. She was 88.
She is survived by her husband, Shorty; children, Steve (Sheryl) Mertz of Robbinsdale, MN, Julie Mertz of Eden Prairie, MN, and Craig (Sheri) Mertz of Carroll, Iowa; grandchildren, Nicole Mertz of Austin, TX, Sarah Mertz of Council Bluffs, Iowa, Jill Mertz of Robbinsdale, Kelsey (Kolby) Hilgenberg of Norwalk, Iowa, Nate Mertz of Carroll and Alli Mertz of Carroll; siblings, Dolores Inman, Don (Mary) Haupert, Marilyn (Chuck) Bjustrom, Patty (Jerry) McGuire, Marge Drown and Darlene (Cyril) Thilges; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Preceding her in death were her parents, John and Mildred Haupert, and her brother, Jim Haupert.