WALLA WALLA, Wash. — Our loving father, Robert L. Merten, passed away in his family’s arms on Jan. 5, 2019, at the Walla Walla Veterans Home in Walla Walla, Wash.
Bob was born on the vast Kansas plains, Jan. 13, 1937, in Great Bend to Arthur and Dorothy Merten.
He was proceeded in death by his parents and elder brother, Darrell E. Merten. He is survived by daughter Christina N. Merten of Seattle; son Zachary R. Merten; daughter-in-law Erin Griffin; and three grandchildren (Graysen, Nolan, and Eiyla) of Waitsburg, Wash.
Bob graduated high school in 1955 in Pratt, Kan. and attended Kansas State University where he played basketball for the Wildcats. Professionally, he was an awarded and caring dentist specializing in maxillofacial prosthodontics. He was the team dentist for the Kansas City Chiefs from 1963-1964. In 1964 Bob entered the Army Dental Corps and completed tours in Korea and Vietnam retiring in 1984 as a full Colonel at Fort Ord, Calif. After his military service he opened a private practice in Manhattan, Kan. and transitioned to be a Professor of Prosthodontics at the University of Nebraska, winning teacher of the year three years in a row. Bob was also an amazing athlete, coach and sportsman.
Bob was a great lover of the natural world and always had a beloved dog by his side. He was passionate about gardening and art. He had a big heart and a restless soul which has now found its way home.
The family will be holding a life celebration for their father on his 82nd birthday this Sunday, Jan. 13th. Formal services will be held in Kansas at a later date in 2019.
Memorial Contributions may be made to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation or the Nature Conservancy Society through the Herring Groseclose Funeral Home, 315 W. Alder St. Walla Walla, WA 99362.
Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, Jan. 20, 2019