Cover photo for Dave Joseph Merten's Obituary
Dave Joseph Merten Profile Photo
1952 Dave 2024

Dave Joseph Merten

August 16, 1952 — June 9, 2024


   Dave (never David) Jospeh Merten, 71, of Spencer, Iowa, hung up his cowboy hat for the last time on June 9, 2024. He was born on August 16, 1952 in Estherville, Iowa to Donna and Edwin Merten. He is survived by his children, Matthew Merten, Michael Merten, Melissa Benedict, his six grandchildren, his sisters, Cindy Meyerdirk and Melinda Carlson, and countless friends and extended family. He is preceded in death by his parents and his brothers, Dan Merten and Don Merten. 

 Dave had a personality as big as his collection of John Deere memorabilia. His beloved property was a haven for green tractors (because they don’t come in any other color), his endless tinkering, projects, and, for most of his life, his farm animals (which he often fed better than he fed himself). Dave's sheep were named by his children (but to their surprise still slaughtered at the butcher), his dogs took up the most room on his Christmas card updates, and his sheep once got their prompt early breakfast before his kids got to open presents on Christmas morning (guess who still remembers). 

 Even with a cuss word on Saturday, Dave made a Sunday service at church his routine and enjoyed being a part of his small-town community for over 50 years. 

 Dave loved candy and homemade ice cream and hated snakes. Dave was known as “the Cowboy” to many, but Matt, Mike, and Melissa knew him as "Dad”, the hardest worker they knew, the guy who had such a zest for life he never slowed down (even if you tried to force him), and loved when the kids sang the “Locomotion” song by his bedroom window. 

 Dave was always the life of the party, even if that party was just putzing around the farm. He had a fondness for a good drink, a good laugh, and a good argument over who had the best corn crop. His idea of a wild night was a Miller High Life, watching a WWE match, Blue Bloods or a Western on TV, and tending to his pond.

   In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Clay County 4-H organization or simply raising a glass in Dave's honor. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dave Joseph Merten, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, June 16, 2024

2:00 - 4:00 pm (Central time)

Warner Funeral Home-Spencer

225 W 3rd St, Spencer, IA 51301

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Monday, June 17, 2024

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

St Joseph's Catholic Church

260 N 4th Ave W, Hartley, IA 51346

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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