Russell P. Mertz

October 12, 1931 ~ July 11, 2022 (age 90)

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Russell P. Mertz
July 11, 2022

Russell Philip Mertz, 90, of Pine Grove, passed away on Monday, July 11, 2022 at Providence Place, Pine Grove.

Born on October 12, 1931 in Northumberland, PA, he was a son of the late Byron M. Sr. and Laura M. Dailey Mertz.  In 1937, the family moved to Coal Township.  His father was an auto dealer in Shamokin for over 30 years. 

Russell attended schools in Coal Township and graduated in 1949.  In high school, he was active with the school newspaper, yearbook and band.  He played the baritone horn and served as assistant student band director.  He worked at Mertz Motor Sales as an apprentice mechanic through high school and after until enlisting in the U.S. Air Force in 1951.

In mid 1951, he was assigned to the 10th Liaison Squadron as an administrative clerk at Seoul Air Base, Korea.  He served there until mid 1952 when he returned to the U.S. as a Sergeant, assigned to Eglin AFB, Florida.  There he served as assistant Sergeant Major of the 3202nd Installation Wing. He then became a Staff Sergeant, active at Eglin until his enlistment ended in January of 1955.

He again worked at Mertz Motor Sales while attending Susquehanna University, graduating in 1959 with a B.S. in Business Administration and minor in History.

He married his long-time sweetheart and wife of 67 years, Dolores D. Latsha on October 8, 1955 in Red Cross while attending school.

He was employed by the federal government in the Social Security Administration from 1959 in Sunbury, moving to Lancaster in 1978 as Assistant District Manager until retiring in 1986.

Russell was an active member of Christ United Methodist Church in Northumberland, Long Memorial United Methodist Church in Neffsville and St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Pine Grove.  He served in Boy Scouts and many local civic and community organizations.

He had many interests and hobbies beginning with his love for the Lord and his extended family.  He enjoyed family history, family reunions and picnics, camping trips, history, the Phillies, Penn State football, DIY projects, trips to the beach and also repairing his 1947 Ford and attending car shows.  He also authored "The Mertz Family of Shamokin and Coal Township."

Russell is survived by his wife Dolores; two sons, Philip Mertz of Lancaster and Matthew Mertz of Catawissa; two daughters, Gwendolyn Mertz of Lancaster and Mindy and husband Michael Higgins of Mars, PA; six grandchildren, Philip and wife Jamie Mertz of Howard, Pa., John and wife Shanna Mertz of Ephrata, Angela and husband Matthew McCabe of Stevensville, MT, Matthew Higgins of Mars, Ellen Mertz of Danville and Joseph Mertz of Wattsburg, Pa.; six great grandchildren, Lucas, Sabian, Coraline, Miranda, Oliver and Otto; two brothers, Kenneth and wife Joann Mertz of Coal Township, Thomas Mertz of Danville; two sisters, Frances Weaver of Shamokin and Lois Walburn of La Mesa, CA; and nieces and nephews.

Preceding him in death were five sisters, Cleo Mertz, Ruth Snyder, Lucille Dimmick, Rachel Raker, and Margery Stametz; three brothers, Byron Jr., Joseph and Jack Mertz.

Funeral Services will be held on Tuesday, July 19, 2022 at Noon at the H. L. Snyder Funeral Home, Inc, 139 S. Tulpehocken St., Pine Grove, with Pastor Rick White officiating.  There will be a viewing on Tuesday, July 19, 2022 from 11:00 A.M. until Noon at the Funeral Home. Interment will follow in the Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, Annville, Pa.  

In lieu of flowers, the family would prefer contributions be made to the Pine Grove VFW Post 3432, 140 S. Tulpehocken St. Pine Grove, Pa. 17963 in his memory.

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July 19, 2022

11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
H L Snyder Funeral Home Inc
139 S Tulpehocken St
Pine Grove, PA 17963

Funeral Service
July 19, 2022

12:00 PM
H L Snyder Funeral Home Inc
139 S Tulpehocken St
Pine Grove, PA 17963


Pine Grove VFW
140 S. Tulpehocken St., Pine Grove PA 17963

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