Faces in the Crowd: Doris Ann Mertz
Doris Ann Mertz has been serving as the Director of the Custer County Library for nearly 10 years as well as with the Custer County Search and Rescue team.
CUSTER, S.D. — Doris Ann Mertz has been helping kids and members of the community at the Custer County Library for nearly a decade. But her journey didn’t start out as just a library director.
She attended the University of Tennessee, graduating with a Degree in Forestry. After all, it was her love for the outdoors that drove her to be a Volunteer.
“I wanted to be a Volunteer,” Mertz said. “I had been a Volunteer fan all my life, so that’s what I wanted to do. But yeah, I studied Forestry and I liked being outside so that was why I wanted to be a forester.”
After Doris Ann and her husband, Dave, moved to Custer in the summer of 2011, she began serving the public at the library, helping students prepare for the ACT and what life had to bring.
But the outdoors were calling her once more.
“I had this adventurous side, that the library fulfills the side of me that likes to help people and likes to be social and the books,” Mertz said. “I love books and I love the kids, so it fills a lot of sides, but it didn’t fulfill that other part of me that the forestry fulfilled.”
So, she joined Custer County Search and Rescue team, but she wasn’t doing it alone. Doris trained her dog, Roscoe, to use his sense of smell to help find people as part of the team. The training came while helping a colleague of the search and rescue team who was also training his dog.
“Since we were going to be out training with him and his dog anyways, we started doing it,” Mertz said. “He (Roscoe) just had a natural talent for it.”
Doris Ann and Roscoe have been a part of multiple search and rescue missions and are a fan favorite at the many parades in Custer.
A friendly face using her love for helping people in every way she knows how.