Barbara Ann Merz, 72, of Cedar Rapids, died Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, at Hospice of Mercy in Hiawatha.
Barbara was born Nov. 10, 1947, in Ottumwa, to Raymond and Mary (Lenaghan) Hammes. She attended Keota Elementary and graduated from St. Elizabeth High School in Harper in 1966. On April 11, 1970, Barb married Richard "Joe" Merz at Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in rural Harper. The couple lived in Iowa City for a short time before moving to Cedar Rapids.
Barb worked for the federal government for 47 years, first with the U.S. Selective Service System, then at the General Services Administration, Public Buildings Service, then with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, and for the last 28 years with the U.S. Small Business Administration. She was a member of St. Pius X Catholic Church in Cedar Rapids, where she taught religious education for several years. Barb also volunteered for Junior Achievement. She loved children, spending time with her family, going to movies, traveling, watching sporting activities, music, going for drives and visits to the family farm.
Survivors include her husband, Richard "Joe" Merz of Cedar Rapids; three children, Shawn (Trista) Merz of Denver, Colo., Heather (Travis) Kupka of Thornton, Colo., and Molly Merz (Brian Sanderson) of Cedar Rapids; grandchildren, Nicholas and Natalie Merz and Kylie, Ethan and Cody Kupka; great-grandchild, Harper; and 12 siblings, Rita (Harry) Adam of Columbus Junction, Kathleen (Michael) Berg of Harper, Patrick "Joe" (Debbie) Hammes of St. Charles, Ill., Stephen (Jo Anne) Hammes of Cedar Rapids, Connie (Don) Dooley of Lake Oswego, Ore., Sandy (Dave) Fisher of Kansas City, Mo., John (Lisa) Hammes of Shawnee, Kan., Judy (Jim) Hilgenberg of Bettendorf, Marilyn (Larry) Abrams of Iowa City, Brenda Hammes of Coralville, Ed (Laurie) Hammes of Sigourney and Rick Hammes of North Liberty. She was preceded in death by her parents and brother: Ronald Hammes.
A funeral Mass will be held at St. Pius X Church in Cedar Rapids with Father Philip Thompson officiating. Burial will be at 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25, at Holy Trinity Cemeteries, Ss. Peter and Paul Cemetery, in rural Harper. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, at Ss. Peter and Paul Church of Clear Creek in rural Harper.
A memorial fund has been established for Clear Creek Heritage Association and Mercy Foundation for Dialysis. Powell Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Keota is caring for Barbara and her family. Tributes may be made at www.powellfuneralhomes.com.