Donald James Mertens

October 13, 1925August 7, 2014

Don passed away peacefully in his sleep on Thurs, Aug 7, 2014. He was enjoying his days at the Motion Picture Television Villa, recently filming “The Okie Dokie” show and welcoming the constant stream of family coming to visit. Don was born in Fort Pierre, SD on Oct 13, 1925 to Joseph F. Mertens and Edna Sullivan Mertens. He had two brothers, Bob and Buddy. Don was still an infant when his family moved to Hollywood, CA where Don attended St. Ambrose Elementary School and Loyola High School. His free time was spent going to the movies and playing tennis with his friends at Poinsettia Park. It was at this time that he began to collect an array of tennis trophies from playing in local tournaments. Don was still a teenager when he joined the Army Air Corps in World War II and married the love of his life, Virginia Reamer, who became his wife of 66 years and the mother of his seven children. Don worked at Technicolor for over 40 years, where he was active in Local 683. After retiring, Don and Ginny became volunteers at the Motion Picture Television Fund for several years with Don serving part of that time as president of the Volunteer Guild. Don will always be remembered for his dedication to the Democratic Party and his lifelong enthusiasm for a robust discussion of national and global politics. He will also be remembered for his sharp and ever-present sense of humor.

Don is survived by six of his children, Mike Mertens (Kathie), Penny Mertens LaPreziosa(Ralph), Donald James Mertens Jr.(Marne), Patricia Mertens Schulz, Robert Mertens (Susan) and Jane Mertens Gist (Jeb). Don is predeceased by his wife, Virginia and his daughter, Pamela Mertens Gunn(Mike). In addition, Don leaves behind 18 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. He will be missed by all of us.

For Memorial Service information, please visit and click on Don’s name to the right. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Don’s name to the Motion Picture Health and Welfare Fund: 22388 Mulholland Dr, Woodland Hills, 91364.



  • Memorial Service Saturday, August 16, 2014


  • Reception

Donald James Mertens

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August 15, 2014

Dear Mertens Family , I had the good fortune of knowing your wonderful father for many years , we work together at Technicolor and as a fellow resident here at the MPTF . We saw each other quite a bit here on the campus , he was always up beat and happy .. In fact I saw him at dinner the night he died , I was with my dog Wink and we talked he was fine .
It was a sock the next morning to see his picture and that he had passed .

God Bless you all , Frank Fassnacht

Dave Danning

August 15, 2014

Dear Don -

You dad was a great guy, and a great Little League manager as well.

Dave Danning
Oak Valley Little League Giants

Bill Williamson

August 15, 2014

In the many years I worked at Technicolor, Don was one of the true Gentlemen I met there. He was a great friend and a pleasure to work for and with.

Pinero Family

August 15, 2014

Dearest Don, Penny and Marne, and all: We are thinking of you, remembering dear Don and all the memories. We send our love and best wishes. Judith, Jim and Mark Pinero.

August 14, 2014

Dear Penny and Pat and Mik and Family,
I am thinking of you with warm thoughts. I have many nice memories of your dad from the years ago. Our loved ones never truly leave us, the love they shared lives on. Sending you sympathy at this time of sorrow....With love, Nancy Osgood

Sharon Gantenbein-Peterson

August 14, 2014

My deepest regrets and sympathy are with you all. I always loved talking to your dad on the phone, when he would call the office to leave a message for your mom. Such a special man. My thoughts and prayers are with you. May he R.I.P.

Sandi Warner

August 14, 2014

Sending love and prayers during this most difficult time. Your Dad was a very special man.

Marla Roberts

August 14, 2014

Dear Mertens Family,
Our thoughts and prayers are with you all during this time. We all loved your dad. It was a joy to be around him and his wonderful, infectious sense of humor. We could always count on him to lighten up a party or family get together. It is in these times of life when we reflect on how much our friends and family really mean to us; and Donny was one of those who meant a lot to our family, as well as dear Ginny.
God bless you all,
Marla and Gary Roberts and Camilla (Cam) Uhl

Kathy Werder

August 14, 2014

Our Uncle Don was such a fine man. I know he was so proud of all of you. You took such good care of him when he really needed you. We will always miss our Uncle Don & Aunt Ginny.
Love, Rich & Kathy Werder & Family

marianne perumean

August 12, 2014

My sympathies to the Mertens family. They are a great bunch and a testament to their parents.