Glen C. Merker

February 18, 2024

Glen Clyde Merker Sr.(1928-2024) went home to our heavenly Father Sunday, February 18.  Born in Chicago to Hilda Sandkohl Merker(1900-1971) and Walter Howard Merker(1896-1989) Glen began his life in the apartment above his father’s hardware store in Chicago with his elder brother Walter H. Merker Jr (1924-2015).  Glen told the story he took his first steps the day the market crashed in 1929.    The next ten years of Glen’s childhood were spent traveling around the country as his father looked for work before settling back in Downers Grove, Illinois.   At sixteen(16), he and two close friends, who were studying Spanish at Downers Grove North High-school, decided to take a trip to Mexico in Glen Lukes father’s Model T Ford.  They hopscotched across the country that summer, branded calves in Oklahoma while staying with his friend’s relatives along the way until they reached their destination.   It was at that high-school he met the love of his life and high-school sweetheart, Doris Jean O’Neil(1928-2022), played varsity sports and helped tutor other students. 

Glen lived a true love story marrying Doris in 1949 when he was twenty years of age.  That year he designed and built a two bedroom all brick home for his bride at 5737 Plymouth Court.  His first son Glen C. Merker Jr. (1950-1990) was born at that home.  With an Irish Twin son Guy C. Merker(1951-) due the following year, he designed and built a second larger brick home at 5410 Brookbank.  He said he was amazed he secured a building loan from the bank when only 21 years old.  Mom said she was never surprised because he grew up with a plaque in his room that said, “If it couldn’t be done he would do it.”  Glen lived by those words. A few years later Glen’s third son, Grant C. Merker(1956-), was conceived so he completed a third brick home the year of his arrival at 1232 Jefferson, also in Downers Grove.   The following year in 1957 at the age of 28, Glen built a home for his parents a block away at 1218 Blanchard.    Glen held a full-time job and built these homes on weekends, seemingly effortlessly as he also enjoyed spending his free time camping and traveling with his bride and children. When blessed with news of another child, Glen bought property in Naperville in 1959 and designed a home with vaulted ceilings inspired by his western vacationing travels that he completed the year Norine Patricia(1960-) was born.  After selling that home in the later 60s and returning to Downers Grove, he formed a partnership named Merker-Mitchel Masonry.   He employed his sons as union laborers on many of those jobs.   The partnership was dissolved shortly after his mother passed when he decided to design and build his fifth and final brick home for his bride over the summer of 1972 with oversized eves inspired by F.L. Wright.  His three sons pitched in to help with the build as did his good friend and fellow bricklayer Richard Dwyer and his father Walter finishing woodwork (a skill he taught Glen and students of Downers during his younger years).

Later in the 70’s Glen became a Business Agent, and was subsequently elected to become President of the bricklayer’s local headquartered in Westmont. Upon retirement Glen remained on the board and he and his bride traveled often.  Destinations included Hawaii,  North Carolina,  Branson Missouri, Canada, Louisiana, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, among many other destinations which included Ireland for their 50th wedding anniversary with gifted flights from his second and third sons. He accomplished his dream of becoming a pilot and bought a Cessna with his good friend Al Reid that they flew out of Clow Airport in Bolingbrook.

When his third son bought his first house in 1982 he bricked that home too.  He was always generous, always a gentleman, and always there for his children whether paying for college for his daughter,  or finding ways to assist them through life.

Glen was a kind, loving and humble man.  When his bride of 72 years passed on April 2, 2022 he often spoke of the day he would join her.  He remained active despite his sadness attending cross-country meets, band concerts, visiting friends at the prop-shop, and visiting grands and great grands.

Through to his passing he would say he cannot hear well, he cannot see well and his legs are pretty shot, but other than that he was doing pretty well.  He made sure he was never a burden.  Glen was cared for by family for things he could not do on his own until his final two days under doctor and nursing care surrounded by family at Meadowbrook Rehabilitation in Naperville. Glen is deeply missed.  Those who mourn our loss may find comfort knowing he has rejoined his bride.


Glen was the loving Father of the late Glen C. Merker Jr. (1990), Guy C. Merker, Grant C. Merker, and Norine Patricia Larson; and the devoted Grandfather of Guy C. Merker Jr., Marissa Merker, Geoff Merker, Nicole Ellis, William Merker, Brittany Ann Merker Tripp, Sara Merker, and Ryan, Matthew, and Joseph Larson.
He was the proud great-grandfather of fifteen beautiful children: Cameron, Clayton, and Finley Merker; Nathan, Logan, and Faith Dattalo; Emmalee and Maddyn Merker; his little buddy Parker and Caroline Tripp; Jayde Merker; Alyssa Ellis; Cooper, Connor, and Carter Lewis.


Memorial Visitation to be held Saturday, April 27, 2024 from 11-3 P.M. at Cappetta’s West Suburban Funeral Home & Cremation Services 4920 Main St., Downers Grove. Please contact Grant Merker for further details
Arrangements entrusted to Cappetta’s West Suburban Funeral Home & Cremation Services. Info 630-852-8000

Memorials may be made to Macular Degeneration Association 5969 Cattleridge Blvd Sarasota FL 34232