Our beautiful “Golden-Haired Angel”, Anne Elizabeth McGrorty Mertens, went back to heaven on August 10, 2019 A.D. She was born on April 13, 1932, in Clayton, WA, to Margaret (Gillespie) and Joseph McGrorty. She has one sister, Mary, who was 4 years older. They had no relatives In the U.S. Her good parents prayed the rosary each night so their daughters would be blessed with husbands who had large families. Their prayers were answered when Anne married Richard C. "Dick" Mertens (who had 10 siblings) on October 4, 1952, in Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral. Anne's sister, Mary, married Phil Skok, who had 14 siblings on October 10, 1953. Anne graduated with honors from Deer Park High School in 1950. She aspired to be a teacher so she studied at Holy Names College in Spokane and later at EWU. Anne patiently and lovingly endured morning sickness to bring our first four children into the world. Anne was an awesome wife, sister, aunt, mother, grandmother, teacher, and friend. She had the gift of gab. She genuinely expressed interest in everyone she met. People were drawn to her. Her love was selfless, giving and steadfast. She had a zest for life. She had exuberant joy. She made all things fun. She cared for her children and grandchildren with a wholehearted effort. Our bonus child, Aaron Gabriel was born on January 31, 1972. I worked nights so I could care for our baby boy while Anne taught pre-school. Anne started and operated North Standard Pre School. Anne was a much-beloved pre-school teacher. She taught for 30 years. Anne referred to her work with children as a "ministry". She deliberately kept her tuition very low so "hard-working families who did not qualify for government aid, (First Start), and couldn't afford the expensive private pre-schools could benefit from pre-school. Anne firmly believed that pre-school gave children a good start to help them succeed in their education. Anne was a woman of faith. She didn't preach. She led by example. One of her favorite songs that she taught the children was "He's Got the Whole World In His Hands". I thank all who assisted her with teaching, especially Joan Johnson, her daughter, Mary Pat and Colleen Schauble. Anne had a ferocious spirit and she advocated for children that were subjected to neglect or abuse. Anne brought miracles of healing into my life and for that, I will be eternally grateful. As her body and mind were ravaged by dementia and a brain injury, I got to repay the goodness that she poured into my life. It was my joy and my blessing to care for her. I miss you, honey. Rest in peace. Anne was preceded in death by her parents, Margaret and Joseph McGrorty, her sister, Mary Skok, her beloved son, Aaron Gabriel, and her granddaughter, Antoinette Miller. Anne is survived by me, Richard C. Mertens, her children Rosie Miller (David), Mary Pat Wakefield (Kevin), Richard A. Mertens, (Mary Jo), and Teresa AlNafie, (Abdul Karim). Anne has 8 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers please donate to Catholic Charities. Thank you! Please share memories and condolences on her tribute wall. All service information is on the service tab.
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Catholic Charities Spokane