OTHO – James Mernka, 86, of Otho, Iowa passed away on Wednesday, June 5, 2013 at the Paula J. Baber Hospice Home in Fort Dodge. Service will be held at 2:00 PM Saturday, June 8, 2013 at the Gunderson Funeral Chapel with the Rev. Richard Laird pastor of the Otho United Methodist Church officiating. Burial will be in the Otho Cemetery with military honors conducted by the VFW Post #1856 and the Iowa Army National Guard Honor Guard. Visitation will be from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM Friday at the Gunderson Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Fort Dodge.
Jim is survived by his three children, Sonja (Joseph) Scott of Fort Dodge, Denise (Alan Hutchison) Mernka of Des Moines, Iowa and James (Donna) Mernka of Yukon, Oklahoma; five grandchildren, Adrienne Hutchison, Kyle Mernka, Matthew Mernka, Emily Jones, and Natalie Hutchison and a great grandson, Ryan Jones. He is preceded in death by his wife, Beverly and his brother, Joseph Mernka.
James Mernka, the son of Czech immigrants, Joseph and Antonette (Vecera) Mernka, was born July 5, 1926 in Otho, Iowa and graduated from the Otho High School. In September of 1944, Jim entered the Unites States Army and served in WWII until November of 1946. After his discharge Jim came back to Otho and started working for Georgia Pacific. On June 18, 1949, Jim was united in marriage to Beverly Ann Stringer in Fort Dodge. After their marriage the couple made their home in Otho.
In October of 1950, Jim was called back into the military serve and served in the Korean War until his discharge as a Corporal in October of 1951. Jim continued to work for Georgia Pacific and retired after 44 years. After his wife Beverly passed away in May of 1984, Jim continued to make his home in Otho. For the past four years Jim has been a resident of the Bickford Cottages in Fort Dodge
Jim was a member of the Otho United Methodist Church and was the Treasurer of Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers Local 6503, a member of the Western Fraternal Life Association, a life member of the Fort Dodge Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #1856 and also served on the Otho City Council.
Memorials may be left to the discretion of the family.