Herman Mertins Jr.
Herman Mertins Jr., 79, of Pinehurst, passed away Wednesday, March 2, 2011, at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital, in Pinehurst, after a short illness.
A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 5, at Brownson Memorial Presbyterian Church, in Southern Pines, followed by a gathering at the Pinewild Country Club, in Pinehurst.
Mertins had been a resident of the Pinewild Country Club for the last 13 years. He was born in Paterson, N.J., the son of Hermann and Nora Mertins. He graduated from Butler High School in 1949. He received his undergraduate degree from Drew University in New Jersey, where he was a four-year letterman baseball pitcher and served as student body president from 1952-53. He received his master’s and doctorate degrees from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.
He was a member of the 5th Infantry Division from 1954–56, serving in Augsburg, West Germany.
Mertins started his career at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, where he worked from 1956–1967. He climbed the public agencies management ladder to become the executive assistant to the chief of central planning for the Port Authority before leaving to pursue his doctorate degree at Syracuse. He was a professor of public administration at West Virginia University for 27 years, and served as chair of the department of public administration for 12 years and as vice president of administration and finance for 15 years.
During that period he worked as the liaison between the university and state legislature, as well as the city of Morgantown, W.Va. He worked on such projects as WVU’s clean coal generation plant and served on the board of WVU Hospitals for 10 years. The Mertins Leadership Award for Staff Advocacy is named after him, following his impact for many years on the WVU campus. He was the first recipient of the award in 1995. He chaired several task forces and committees, including WVU’s United Way campaign. He was the faculty representative for the WVU Athletic Council from 1976–78.
He was also a visiting professor of public administration at the University of Southern California and Williamette University in Salem, Ore., in the mid-70s. Mertins was awarded the prestigious Stephen B. Sweeney Academic Award in 1979 from the International City Management Association. He was active in the American Society for Public Administration.
“Mert,” as his friends and colleagues knew him, was an avid left-handed golfer, one of the original members of the Pines Country Club in Morgantown, and a member of the Pinewild Country Club. During his retirement in North Carolina, he served on the boards of the Pinewild Property Owners Association and the United Way of Moore County, and as a volunteer for the Senior Health Insurance information Program (SHIIP).
Mertins is survived by his wife of 57 years, Barbara, of Pinehurst; two sons and their spouses, Glenn Mertins and Kerry, of Hudson, N.H., and Gary Mertins and Kelly, of Morgantown, W.Va.; two sisters, Mary Tobin, of Fort Myers, Fla., and Helen Struble, of Butler, N.J.; and five grandchildren, Tyler, Cole, Luke, Peter and Jacob Mertins.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to WVU Foundation Inc., One Waterfront Place, 7th floor, P.O. Box 1650, Morgantown, WV 26507-1650.