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Last Updated: February 16, 2017

Steve Allen Mertins, 58, of Valley Center, died, Feb. 11, 2017. He was born to Carl and Jean (Collier) Mertins on Sept. 26, 1958, in St. Charles, Mo. He graduated from Valley Center High School in 1976. His favorite school activity was wrestling. In 1976 he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. He served in Japan, Korea and the Philippines. He was in "D" Co, 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion. He was an AmTrac Crewman. He was honorably discharged in 1979. After returning home he attended Fort Hays State University. In August 1990, he hired on with the City of Valley Center. His first job was planting tulip bulbs in the park. In December he went full time in the water department. In 1994, he married Kathryn (Minerd) Schuler. In 2004, he enrolled in Butler County Community College and earned an associates degree  in general education. He graduated in 2005 and was inducted into the Alpha Phi Alpha chapter of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society.  Recently, he entered his 27th year with the city and had become the assistant superintendent of public works. He faithfully served the City of Valley Center and the residents of his hometown. He was known for his knowledge of his job and his ability to interact with the residents in town and help them with their needs.

He is survived by his wife Kathryn; three stepsons, Daniel (Christine) Repp of Howard,  Tracey (Lolita) Repp of Wichita, and Donald (Leslie) Schuler of Wichita; parents Carl and Jean Mertins; sisters Stephanie (Alex) Haile of Park City and Sandra (Steve) Fowler of Valley Center; brother Stuart (Jolene) of Valley Center; 10 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren with number eight due in May. He was a special uncle to many nieces and nephews, and Godfather to two nieces, and a good friend to many.

A gathering of family and friends will be held to celebrate the life of this special man, 11 a.m. Feb. 18, at Faith Community Church, 1750 N. Gow, Wichita. Memorials may be designated in his memory to Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice, 313 S. Market, Wichita, Kansas 67202.  Baker Funeral Home Valley Center has charge.

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