Monica Ann Mertz Harris
Monica Ann Mertz Harris, 68, died peacefully at her Eugene, Oregon, home on June 2, 2021. Her sudden passing has left her family and friends with profoundly sad hearts, and it will take some time for their world to feel bright again. Monica shaped her life around pure goodness, and her loved ones find solace in the fact that Monica is surely tickled to have made her way to Heaven.
Monica was born on June 15, 1952, in Granite Falls, Minnesota, to Bernard (Sparky) Mertz and Mary Ann Gorman Mertz. She joined three older siblings on their Maynard, Minnesota, farm. When Monica was six, the family made the permanent journey from the midwest to the Pacific Northwest, and they settled in The Dalles, Oregon.
Not long after her high school graduation, she moved to Madras to be near family and to work for her oldest brother at his grocery store, Big Five Foods.
After some years, Monica left Madras and eventually ended up in Salem, where her daughter Megan, the light of her life, was born. Monica and Megan later returned to Madras in 1988. While working in the banking industry, she met a local farmer with two teenage sons, Eugene Harris, who she later married.
After the tragic death of her husband, Gene, and her stepson, Mark, Monica moved to Eugene, in 2014 to be closer to her daughter, Megan, and her granddaughter, Penelope.
Everyone who had the privilege and pleasure of knowing Monica will remember her as being warm, welcoming, and always present. More than anything, though, Monica will be remembered for her extreme generosity, her exuberant spirit, her neverending encouragement, and her deep, genuine expressions of love. The manner in which she enhanced this world will never be forgotten.
Monica is survived by her daughter, Megan Smith; granddaughter, Penelope; son-in-law, James; and grandchildren, Alizabeth, Nicholas, Abraham and Evelyn, all of Eugene, stepson, Jason; daughter-in-law, Angie; and grandchildren, Vance and Shelby of Madras; her siblings, Tom (Linda) of Thompson Falls, Montana, Don of Green Valley, Arizona, and Maureen of Bend; numerous adoring nieces and nephews, and countless friends and church family.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Bernard and Mary Ann Mertz; her husband, Eugene Harris; and her stepson, Mark Harris.
A memorial service will be held at a later time.