Anthony (Tony) C. Mertens, 83, of Backus, formerly of Big Lake, passed away peacefully February 23, 2018 at the St. Cloud Hospital surrounded by his family. Per Tony’s wishes, there will be no funeral, but a celebration of life at the American Backus Legion April 7 from 1-5 p.m. Everyone is welcome and invited to come and share a favorite Tony (Ynot) story with family and friends. Tony was born May 17, 1934 on the family farm near Delhi and was one of eight children. Tony enjoyed hunting, fishing, gardening, rides around his property on his golf cart, taking country drives to sight see, watching sports on TV, taking in nature from his porch and mostly visiting with friends and family. He is survived by his beloved companion Barb Frederick for the past 12 years, son Scott (Angie) Mertens of Elk River; daughters Julienne Mertens of Castle Rock, Wash., Valerie (Michael) Anderson of Zimmerman, Amy Mertens of Castle Rock; step-daughter Carrie (Richard) McAllister of Pine River, nine grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, five step-grandchildren and many relatives, friends and extended family of the American Backus Legion. Tony was preceded in death by his parents, Marlis, brothers Bob and Joey, sisters Frances Vi Serbus and Mary Ann Barrett.