Eugene Claude (Gene) Merz, 82, passed away peacefully in Denver, Colo., on Sept. 20, 2022,
surrounded by family.
Gene was born in Harper, Iowa, on Feb. 15, 1940, to Lester and Lorraine (Gent) Merz. He served in
the Army Reserves from 1956-1964, sang onstage with Johnny Cash, and graduated from Iowa State
University (B.S.) in pursuit of veterinary medicine. He married Barb (Thompson) Merz on Aug. 13,
Gene found his professional niche as a feedlot consultant / pharmaceutical rep to veterinarians. With a
7-state territory, he could live anywhere. He and Barb chose the outskirts of Arlington, where
they raised their children, made lifelong friends, and dabbled in side-hustles that included racehorses,
rabbits, two breeds of dogs, and roughly 800 emus.
Gene loved campers and trailers and toys of all kinds, especially airplanes, airboats, snowmobiles, four
wheelers, and motorcycles, as well the Swamp Fox 6x6 (a little-known amphibious vehicle) and the
Aquanaut Diving Compressor (imagine a lawnmower engine, floating in an innertube, pumping air and
exhaust via hoses to divers below).
In retirement, Barb and Gene downsized to Granby, Colo., closer to kids and grandkids. The move
immediately expanded their circle of lifelong friends. Gene added a bigger snowplow to his toybox. He
was granted a Free Beer for Life card by a major Denver brewery for clearing the brew master’s
driveway of several feet of snow after the blizzard of 2004.
Gene lost Barb in 2007. He kept hunting, fishing, traveling and making friends. He welded horseshoes into art. He assembled family for the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo every January. He loved seeing his grandkids play softball, soccer, volleyball, lacrosse, and the ukulele.
Gene was also preceded in death by his parents, stepmother Marie, and sisters Alicia McEniry and
Marilyn Lowe. He is survived by his brother, Norm (Mary) Merz, sister Maureen (Tobe) Tozier, brothers-in-law Bill McEniry and John Lowe, and step-sister Judy Fouser; his children, Naomi (Mark) Price, Monte (Jenna) Merz, Shane (Lisa) Merz, and Tucker Merz; his godchildren Michael McEniry and Lisa Neuman; and four beloved grandchildren, McKenna Dee, Lucca Louise, Sadie Jane, and Wyatt Gene.
In Monte’s words, “He lived full throttle and made mountains of memories... He was a man of faith. He
had his forever girl and left four moderately functional and independent kids… He left a legacy.”
A memorial service and celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m., on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, at
Christ the King Catholic Church in Evergreen, Colo.
Memorials may be directed to http://www.studentreach.org/hopecenter