Jennifer Maureen McAlister Hlavinka Mertes

November 5, 1974January 8, 2021
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Jennifer Maureen McAlister Hlavinka Mertes 46, passed away suddenly Jan 8th at home due to complications from organ failure. Jen is survived by her mom, Maureen; dad, Ben; step-dad, Tim; Children, Lilly, Lucy, Lucas; Siblings, Melissa (Gary), Timothy, Katrina, Breeanna (Joe), Tyler; Nephews, Kaleb and Ryder; niece, Aveya; Boyfriend, Wade; and many relatives and friends. She will be deeply missed by all who knew her. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, a private family service will be held. We know you're dancing in heaven. Donations in her name can be made to an alcohol rehab center of your choice.


  • Jen is survived by her mom, Maureen; dad, Ben; step-dad, Tim;
    Children, Lilly, Lucy, Lucas;
    Siblings, Melissa (Gary), Timothy, Katrina, Breeanna (Joe), Tyler;
    Nephews, Kaleb and Ryder; niece, Aveya;
    Boyfriend, Wade; and many relatives and friends


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Jennifer Maureen McAlister Hlavinka Mertes

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Carol Leafblad

January 17, 2021

Dear family,
I was so sad to hear of Jen’s passing. I had the privilege of teaching both Lucy and Lucas in kindergarten. I always enjoyed conference time with Jen and our chats we would have after school. She was so fun to be around and loved her children fiercely. She gifted me with a special Caribou Coffee mug when she worked there and to this day it is one of my favorites. She also donated Caribou paper products for our kitchen area. The students enjoyed filling “coffee orders”for the staff and delivering them during the winter months. I have fond memories of Jen!
Sending love to her beautiful, awesome and smart children!
Praying for you all during these difficult days ahead.
Carol Leafblad from Madison Elementary School

Angela Detviler

January 14, 2021

Lilly, Lucy, Lucas, and Jen's Entire Family -
We are so incredibly sorry to hear this news. We are sending you all of our support and love as you remember Jen and celebrate her life. Jen and I first met while working at Target, and we had many adventures together. Jen's laughter was contagious and her smile lit up a room. She loved being a mom! Sending you hugs as we remember Jen.
Our best,
Mark, Angela, Max, Mason and Amelia Detviler

Rick Nagamitsu

January 14, 2021

Sweet, beautiful, Jennifer,

Though my heart aches with with sadness and my sight blurry with tears, I will always remember you with love in my heart and I will see you in the stars. You are now happy, joyous and free in the heavens.

To Jen’s family and friends,

May your pain be comforted through peace, tears dried by sunshine and your hearts be mended with love.

Jesse Thompson

January 14, 2021

I am going to miss your laugh, your spunk, your love for your friends and the smile you got talking about your children, I know how much you loved them. Some of my best memories are from Paul and Philip’s Halloween parties when we dressed alike (Price is Right Contestants, Beauty Queens, etc.) and how we hoped to win the prized award for best dressed each year. We actually DID win for that Price is Right ensemble and it was glorious! I remember all the laughs we had working together at Target Corp. and how we never had a dull moment training together. Our trip to Denmark was one of the best memories of my life. We laughed so much that I still laugh out loud thinking about some of our adventures. I had hoped we could go back again together. As we got older, I always enjoyed getting together, no matter the time, it was like we didn't miss a beat. You always made me laugh and that is one of the many traits I admired in you, my friend.
The world will miss your bright smile, your contagious, infectious laugh, and your loving nature. I will cherish the memories I have from my little, but fierce friend. Thank you for always being a good friend – I love you.

To Jen's family, friends, and especially her children, I am so sorry for your loss. I am sending so many prayers of peace and love to you all.

Jesse Olerud Thompson

Vicki Fell

January 14, 2021

We never get to keep the ones we love forever. What we do get to keep are the memories of the ones we loved...forever.
Jen, I will never forget your beautiful laugh, brilliant smile and those great hugs to basically my thighs since that's all the higher you could reach!!! The pain is deep. I feel like I've lost a daughter. You and all your siblings have, and always will be a huge part of my life.
Rest peacefully Jen. You will be missed by so many that loved you dearly ❤
"Dr. Vic"

Julie Campbell

January 14, 2021

Dear Family of Jen,

My heart is so heavy for you all and the sudden loss of such a beautiful soul. I will forever hold Jen in my heart as a person in high school that NEVER judged people, only had a smile and positivity.
May your family find peach in knowing she is in a better place and that we will all meet her again one day.
God Bless you and your family,

Julie Campbell
Class of 93

Mark Thompson

January 14, 2021

Thinking of your family and especially the kids. Jen was a great Caribou Coffee peer and a friend. Her signature laugh made you smile, and she brightened any room. She will be missed. God Bless.

Wade Marier

January 14, 2021

She was a brilliant bright shining star that burnt out way before her time. I loved her more than anything. I know that she loved her children and I more than anything else in the world!!! I'm so glad to have been a part of her short life. I hope you all have felt the same!!! Love you more than anything Jenny!!! P.S she hates when I call her Jenny. 😆 My babe miss you and love you forever!!! P.S You'll hurt no more. God bless everyone regardless!!!

Rachel Reichenbach

January 13, 2021

I was so sorry to hear of Jen's passing. Prayers for her family. She went way too soon. To her family, I hope the wonderful memories wrap themselves around you to get you through this terribly difficult time.
I knew Jen because I had the pleasure of working with her at Target. We worked together on Vendor training and when she joined my team, the energy and enthusiasm she brought to her job was contagious! I will always remember her fantastic laugh.

Tania Carroll

January 13, 2021

Jen, you were one of a kind and you will be deeply missed. I’m so grateful for our friendship and wish I could have been there to support you. I hope you’ve found peace - love you


Girls weekend 2011 - Jen with her signature pink flower.


Liz Phair Concert


Senior pictures of Jen's best high school friends.
Oh, the hair!


This was THE Jen laugh! When she laughed she lit up the world with that huge smile. She would hold her hand to her chest and laugh so hard.


Jen, Stacey & Becky at Jimmy Buffet in WI.
Stacey loved Jimmy Buffet "Cheeseburger in Paradise."


Girls night in Stillwater.


Stacey + Jen - "How many jean jackets did Jen have?"


Stacey (and her future husband, Robb), Victoria & Kim Wayne. The smallest girl with the biggest drink!


Class of 1993
Senior Prom
Jen, Stacey & Kim Wayne!