Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

March 5, 2013

Barbara Effie Philbrick Mertz


Corsicana Daily Sun

Corsicana —



   Barbara Mertz, age 93, died at Santa Fe Memory Care in Cleburne on Monday, March 4, 2013.  She went to be with her Lord Jesus Christ. She was born Feb. 20, 1920, in Augusta, Maine, to Clarence L. Philbrick and Effie Mackinnon Philbrick.  After attending Colby College in Waterville, Maine, she moved to Denver, Colo., to work as a medical laboratory technician. While there she met Robert David Mertz.  They were married in Trinidad, Colorado, on Sept. 14, 1947. In 1952 she and her late husband, Dr. Robert Mertz, moved to Corsicana, where she resided for 60 years.

     Barbara made a decision to accept Jesus Christ into her life in Dallas, during Explo 1972. She was a woman of strong faith who gave her whole life to the enrichment of others, her family, and her community in Corsicana. As an active, longstanding member of Westminster Presbyterian Church, she served in many capacities: Sunday school teacher, caregiver, and Elder. In 1981, the Church sponsored a Vietnamese family’s relocation into Corsicana. Barbara was one of several people who gave daily assistance and support to The and Le Dinh and their four children for years following their arrival. The Dinhs became part of her heart and family. At one time she organized and led her own Bible study with a women’s group in her home.  She also served in countless community volunteer capacities over the course of 50 plus years:  The March of Dimes, Kinsloe House, Food for Fitness, Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), Women’s Medical Auxiliary, Meals on Wheels, to name a few. She was a friend and confidante of the elderly, making tireless visits to nursing homes and caring for “the least of these.” She was active in several book clubs, Ladies Golf Association, and Community Bible study.

    Though her community service was outstanding, even more remarkable was her devotion to her family:  her husband of 59 years, Robert Mertz; and her three very grateful and devoted children, Carolyn, John, and Bruce. Her children remember her as an avid letter writer whenever they were away from home; and a tireless supporter/cheerleader, always putting their needs first. She was a superb mentor and role model of a loving parent. As an avid homemade bread maker, Barbara gave away thousands of loaves to friends, family, and community members over the course of her life in Corsicana. These gifts were just a sampling of all the love and kindness shown to family and friends.  Barbara demonstrated friendship to all, regardless of their race, religion, or beliefs.

     She is survived by her brother, Leighton Philbrick and his wife, Barbara, from Portland, Maine; David Flood, her brother-in-law, of Friendship, Maine; and one sister, Jayne Davis of Massachusetts; a daughter, Carolyn Perna and husband, John, from Denver, Colo.; a son, Dr. John Mertz and wife, Andrea, from Rogers, Ark.; a son, Dr. Bruce Mertz and wife, Mary, from Cleburne; nine grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. She is also survived by The and Le Dinh, their four children and four grandchildren.  

     A memorial service will be held at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Corsicana, at 2 p.m. on April 6, 2013.  In lieu of flowers the family request that donations be made out to either Child Evangelism Fellowship of Navarro County, 117 Mall Drive, Corsicana, TX 75110; or to Denton Bible Church, 2300 E. University Dr., Denton, TX 76209 (with a note for Account No. 9774-01, Gaynelle Newport, who serves through Denton Bible mentoring African women in French speaking Africa).

     An online guest book is available at www.griffin-roughton.com by selecting the Barbara Mertz obituary. Arrangements by Griffin-Roughton Funeral Home.