John Edward Mergenthaler, 96, of Crystal Lake, passed away on his birthday, Tuesday, February 13, in Crystal Lake.
He was born on February 13, 1922 in Chicago to John Fred and Gertrude (nee Schimmel) Mergenthaler. On September 11, 1948 he was united in marriage to Lillian Bokelmann.
John grew up in Des Plaines and graduated from Maine Township high school in 1941. He enlisted in the US Army in November of 1942 and was assigned to the Army Air Force in the Pacific Theatre of World War II. He was stationed in various countries including New Guinea, Australia, The Philippines and Japan. His assignments included airplane and engine mechanic, Chief Clerk of the Chemical Warehouse and Chief Clerk of Civil Affairs where he supervised Japanese interpreters in Tokyo after the war ended. John received an honorable discharge in January of 1946 after achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant.
He started his career with Northern Illinois Gas Company in 1946 working in construction as a Gas Pressureman at the Evanston office and was later transferred to the Crystal Lake office in 1953. After a period working in sales as a heating and air conditioning equipment representative, he finished his career at Nicor as a supervisor of system operating retiring in 1985.
John was an avid golfer, playing in several golf leagues and making many long term friends in the Crystal Lake area. After retirement he enjoyed playing golf during the winters in the Estero, FL area. John continued to play golf into his early 90s.
John also enjoyed travel with Lillian including using their VW camper before eventually purchasing a winter residence in Estero, FL.
John was a member of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ for over 50 years participating on the church council and volunteering on several projects at the church.
John was preceded in death by his loving wife, Lillian in 2016. He is survived by his children, Mark (Melissa) Mergenthaler of Onalaska, WI, Terry (Larry) Skipper of Polson, MT, and Linda (Dean) Bichler of Crystal Lake; his grandchildren, Megan (Ramsey) Elias, Mathew Mergenthaler, JoAnn Skipper, Cheryl Skipper, Ben (Kayla) Bichler, Alyssa (Jack) Gilleland, Joe Bichler; and his great-grandson, Tamer Elias.
A memorial service for John will be announced in the spring.