Justus August Mertz Jr.

justus mertz

September 25, 1939 ~ February 8, 2023

Born in: Yoakum, TX
Resided in: Arlington, TX

Justus A. “Jay” Mertz, Jr., 83, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, February 8, 2023 at home in Arlington, Texas.

Jay was born on September 25, 1939 in Yoakum, TX. He graduated from Waco High in 1958. After attending Baylor University, he joined the Army National Guard before enlisting in the United States Air Force. While serving at Fairchild Air Base in Spokane, WA, he met and married his wife Joanne.

Jay never met a stranger. He was generous with his love and friendship, his wit and wisdom. For his friends and family, he had a heart as big as Texas.

Jay excelled as a business owner. His first business in Arlington, TX was JayMer Designs, a commercial interior design business focused on grocery store design across the Southeastern U.S. He moved to Corsicana, TX and established Rabbit Hill Farm, an organic soil and fertilizer business. Jay was a pioneer in organic gardening. He loved educating people as well as learning about organic horticulture. It was his honor to serve on the Texas Organic Advisory Board as well as a board member of TOFGA, the Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. He was also proud to serve his community as the President of the Angus Water Supply Corporation for 33 years.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Justus A. Mertz, Sr. and Helen Krocker Mertz, his sister Marylyn Mertz, and his dear friends Porky Hogg and Harry McCord.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Joanne Thorpe Mertz of Arlington, son Jeffrey Mertz and daughter-in-law Jeannie Robinson of Los Angeles, CA.

A memorial will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please donate in Jay’s memory to The Michael J. Fox Foundation For Parkinson’s Research. You can donate now by clicking here.

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Memories Timeline


  1. CandleImageCheryn and I will miss Jay for sure. I meet Jay through AOGC Gardening Club in Arlington Texas. Jay was always a help with our Club and me personally. As a Club we use to put on the Natural Urban Living Garden Show. Jay was always a help in making it work. Anything we needed for raffle prizes, potting soil for our plant sale at the Garden Show, anything to help spread the word to the world about Organics. R.I.P. my friend!!! Our heart goes out to Joanne and her family at the sad time.

  2. CandleImageJay married my sister Joanne when I was just a few years old. He was my brother from the very start, bigger than life and full of love. He played the role of Santa Claus so well in those early years that I still believe today that I know the real Santa and now you all do as well!
    You take a piece of my heart with you….

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