Mardis Merritt Aten
November 5, 1928 – December 17, 2018
Mardis Merritt Aten, 90, of Omaha, died on Monday, Dec. 17, 2018. He grew up in Ottumwa, Iowa where he enjoyed summers working on his grandfather’s farm, and he graduated from Ottumwa High School in 1947. After high school, Mardis moved to Washington D.C. where he worked for the F.B.I. as an assistant to the agents in the enforcement division. He had fond memories of riding cable cars in D.C. back in the early fifties.
Mardis was drafted into the Army in 1951. His unit was scheduled to go to Korea, but at the last minute was transferred to Germany. Mardis became an assistant to a colonel in charge of food operations. In this capacity, Mardis toured Germany keeping records regarding food operations in the Army. After the Army, Mardis returned to Ottumwa where his Uncle John got him a job at Morrells.
Mardis married Barbara Johnson and they had two delightful daughters, Joyce and Janise, and three grandchildren with whom he enjoyed many activities including games, travel and teasing wherein he lived up to his nickname, “The Agitator.”
Mardis had many outside interests throughout his life including building houses, serving on the volunteer fire department and the city council, and traveling and playing cards. Through the years, Mardis’ skills as a mechanic put him in high demand, and in his final position at Curwood/Bemis Corporation, he was their top troubleshooting service technician.
After Barbara’s death, Mardis moved to Holiday, Florida to join an enclave of family of friends from Iowa. He took up golf and thoroughly enjoyed all the weather and activities that Florida had to offer. He became very good friends with Shirley Johnson, and they remained friends through the years.
One of Mardis’ final comments was “You know, I’ve really led a good life.”
He was preceded in death by parents, Carl and Hazel (Morrow) Aten; wife, Barbara Jeanne (Johnson) Aten. Survived by brother and sister-in-law, Eddie and Deirdre Aten; sister, Virginia Aten; daughters and sons-in-law, Joyce and Nick Schwartz and Janise and Dan Schwee; granddaughter, Kara Schwee; grandsons, Brent Schwartz and Casey Schwee.
VISITATION begins on Saturday, Dec. 22nd at 8:30am at the West Center Chapel, followed by SERVICES at 9am. Interment, Memorial Lawn Cemetery in Ottumwa, IA. Memorials to Nebraska Humane Society.