ROCKFORD, Ill. — Dr. Merlin “Mert” John Manley, 84, of Rockford, Ill., died July 14, 2019, at Presence St. Anne’s Center after a courageous battle against cancer.
Mert was born Oct. 17, 1934, in Hazel Green, the son of John and Bernice (Wubben) Manley.
He was an Army veteran serving in Germany.
Mert attended Loras College and Northern Illinois University where he received his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees.
He married Alberta DiGiovanni in Rockford on Oct. 19, 1963. They raised their three sons in Fort Atkinson, Wis.
Mert spent most of his career as a professor at UW-Whitewater where he was awarded the 1988 UW-Whitewater Teacher Educator of the Year.
After retiring in 1993, he continued teaching on a volunteer basis at various locations in Rockford and in Sun City West, Ariz., where he and Alberta spent many winters.
Mert loved teaching and traveling, but his first love was spending time with his family.
He was a member of Holy Family Catholic Church.
Mert is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Alberta; his sons, Dr. Michael (Karol), Christopher (Nancy) and Stephen (Heidi) Manley; his grandsons, Luke, Sam, Jack, Owen, Alex and Noah; his granddaughter, Katelyn; and his brother, Richard (Susan) Manley.
He was predeceased by his parents; and an infant brother, Howard.
The family especially would like to thank Dr. Esfahani, Dr. Zaidi, Dr. Barnhart and OSF Hospice for their care and compassion.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 20, at Holy Family Catholic Church, 4401 Highcrest Road, Rockford, with the Rev. Phillip Kaim officiating.
Visitation will be on Saturday at the church from 9:30 until 10:15 a.m.
Burial will be in Arlington Memorial Park Cemetery at a later date.
Memorials may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or Rockford Rescue Mission, 715 W. State St., Rockford, IL 61102.
Share online condolences at www.fitzgeraldfh.com.