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Ms. Daneen Lee (nee: Jochum) Merten 73, passed away surrounded by her Family on Wednesday. She lost her life after battling Acute Myeloid Leukemia. She was born in Racine, Wisconsin on December 11, 1943 to Harold L. and Catherine M.(nee: Johnson) Jochum and resided in Racine.

On January 5th 1964, she was untied in marriage to Walter G. Merten, who preceded her in death. Walter died from Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in 1975.  “Miss Daneen” was employed for 30 years as an Early Childhood Educator at Jack and Jill Day Care Center. Preparing for the Christmas pageant was one of her fondest memories. She mentored and ministered to many people while being involved and attending the following: Volunteering at the Racine Rescue mission, A Sunday school teacher at Racine Bible Church; Daneen ran the Sunday school program at First Church of God; She ran the soccer concession stand at Community Church of the Nazarene for 11 years. She was one of the original Mentors in the Teen Moms group and an ongoing supporter of the Youth for Christ program. She sang in choir in most of the churches she attended. While her Father was still alive she loved to sing duets with him. In addition to raising her own children she raised her brother Christopher’s children and grandchildren as her own.

Surviving are her children, Wendy (Don) Pirk, Melissa (Harold) Mason, Rebecca (Jim) Ferguson all of Racine; step children, Daniel and Julie Christoffersen; siblings, Michael (Tiffannie) Jochum of Anaheim, Calif., and Kathleen (Brian) Quinn of Racine; grandchildren, Stephanie (Josh) Mc Coy, Christopher (Melissa) Mason, Richard Pirk, Tessa Pirk and Jacob Pirk; great grandchildren: Colton Pirk, Ethan Mc Coy, Josiah Pirk and Emma Mc Coy; nieces and nephews, Damon (Monica) Jochum, Laurie (Dave) Manker, Anntionet Day, Nicole Bailer, Hunter Lehman, Eric Jochum, Sarah Jochum, Amanda (Troy Treuber) Mathis, Chelsea (Andrew Coe) Goldmann, and Teagan Goldmann; great nieces and nephews, Ann-Marie Mathis, Guendolyn Hynde, Kaylee Mathis, Megan Mathis, Samantha Jochum, Daniel Jochum, Drake Mathis, Aryana Treuber and Edward E. Pritchard.  She is further survived by her friends, Melvina Lube, Sandy Sus, Carolyn Pierantoni and Georgia Osbourne. She was preceded in death by her husband, grandparents, parents, brother, two nieces and a nephew.

A visitation is scheduled for Wednesday evening the at 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Maresh-Meredith & Acklam Funeral Home  and on Thursday at the funeral home from 10:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. Funeral Services will begin at 11 a.m. with Reverend Rich Doering officiating followed by interment at Graceland Cemetery.   Memorials for Daneen can be donated to the Family, Youth for Christ, or the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

The family would like to thank Dr. Choi, Dr. Gulberg, all of the staff that tended to her at the Cancer Center and hospital staff of floor 3 B at Wheaton Franciscan for the marvelous care you provided for Daneen. We are very grateful for everything.