Robert J. Merkt, 70

Robert J. "Bob" "Jocko" Merkt, 70, of Hartford, passed away peacefully on Monday, Feb. 6, 2012, at St. Josephís Hospital in the town of Polk.

He was born on June 12, 1941, in Milwaukee, the son of the late Joseph and Myrtle (Pope) Merkt, and was a member of the Kewaskum High School Class of 1960.

He was a charter member of Valve Burners Hot Rod Club of Kewaskum and continued his love of hot rods throughout his life, having won numerous trophies showing his custom truck. He was vice president of the Wisconsin Rod and Custom Association.

Bob moved to Florida where he was the Southeast distributor for Merktís Cheese Company. He worked many fair and trade shows where he was an outstanding salesman entertaining the fair-goers. Bob met and married Gretchen and lived in Florida for many years.

Bob had a lifelong interest in cooking and attended the Johnson and Wales Culinary School in South Carolina achieving the degree of Executive Chef with honors. This led to him being a chef from Hilton Head to Saipan. He returned to Wisconsin to be with his family and friends.

Bob was a member of St. Stanislaus Catholic Church in Milwaukee and the Holy Name Society.

Those Bob leaves behind to cherish his memory include three brothers, David Merkt of Valders, Gregory (Jo-Ellen) Merkt of Johnson Creek and Richard (Penny) Merkt of Fond du Lac; four sisters, Jeanne Jaeger of Mayville, Kathleen (Robert) Kougl of West Bend, Donna Dallen-Seering of Mayville and Mary (Tom) Roberts of Princeton; his loving former wife and friend, Gretchen Merkt of Lakeland, Florida; a special friend, Darlene Rettler of Hartford, beloved nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.

In addition to his parents and grandparents, Bob was preceded in death by Bud Jaeger, Dolly Merkt, Reed Seering, many nieces, nephews and cousins.

A Mass of Christian burial for Bob will be held at 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 10, 2012, at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Kewaskum with Rev. Canon Jayr officiating. Relatives and friends may call at the church on Friday from 3 p.m. until the time of Mass.

On Saturday, relatives and friends will meet at the Miller Funeral Home in Kewaskum at 11 a.m. to proceed to St. Martinís Catholic Church Cemetery in the town of Ashford for burial.

Additional information and guest book may be found at www.millermartinfh.com.