|Birth: ||Feb. 13, 1935|
|Death: ||May 16, 2012|
Davenport - Memorial Services and a Mass of Christian Burial for Mervin "Merv" Habenicht, 77, a resident of Davenport, formerly of Bettendorf, and Iowa Hall of Fame Football Coach, will be 11 a.m. Saturday, May 19, 2012, at St. Anthony's Catholic Church, 417 Main Street, Davenport. Inurnment will take place in the Rock Island Arsenal National Cemetery with military honors on Monday, May 21, 2012, at 1 p.m. Those wishing to attend the graveside service need to be at the funeral home by 12:30 p.m. for the procession to the Arsenal. Visitation will be held from 4 until 7 p.m. Friday, May 18, 2012, at the Halligan McCabe DeVries Funeral Home, 614 Main Street, downtown Davenport. There will be a time to share "Merv stories" at 7 p.m., so please come prepared! Coach Habenicht died Wednesday, May 16, 2012, at Clarissa C. Cook Hospice House, Bettendorf which is a Hail Mary pass away from TouVelle Stadium, home of his beloved Bulldogs. He passed following a courageous battle with pulmonary fibrosis surrounded by his adoring family.
Mervin Rae Habenicht was born on February 13, 1935, in Fort Dodge, a son of Harold and Mae (Dickerson) Habenicht. He played his prep football at Fort Dodge High School. In the yearbook his senior year of high school his quotation was "Football is my middle name."
He was united in marriage to Evelyn Halligan on December 4, 1953. They have shared over 58 years of marriage together.
Merv proudly served our country in the Army from 1953 until 1955 where his service included playing football to entertain the troops. After returning from the service, he enrolled at the former Ft. Dodge Junior College where he played guard on the offensive line weighing a mere 195 lbs. His team went undefeated that year, the first time in school history. He was then recruited to continue his collegiate career at Iowa State Teacher's College (now Northern Iowa).
After graduating from Iowa State Teacher's College, Coach Habenicht was hired at Bettendorf High School to teach World History, and serve as an assistant football coach. During his forty years at Bettendorf, he also taught Drivers Education and coached wrestling.
In 1971, he became the Head Football Coach and started the dynasty that has become Bettendorf High School Football. During his tenure, Coach Habenicht compiled a record of 228-70-1 while winning 5 state championships and 10 conference titles. Additionally, his 15 playoffs squads compiled a record of 30-10 and two of them were nationally ranked by USA Today. Three of his teams made school history by going undefeated (12-0 in 1987 and 13-0 in 1988 and 1992). Coach Habenicht also coached 70 All-State players and Parade All-American, Tavian Banks.
Among the numerous honors and awards he has earned, Coach Habenicht was inducted into the Iowa High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame in 1988 and was the runner-up for the Quad City Football "Coach of the Century" in 2000. He also was the M.A.C. "Coach of the Year" in 1989 and 1998 as well as the Des Moines Register "Coach of the Year" in 1988. Coach Habenicht also coached in the Iowa Shrine Bowl All-Star game for the South Squad as an assistant in 1981 and was the head coach in 1999. After he "retired" from teaching and coaching at Bettendorf High School in 2000, he coached football at Davenport Assumption, United Township, Davenport North and for the Quad City Steamwheelers, while also presenting at coaching clinics.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Father Conroy's Vineyard or to Bettendorf High School for the installation of new field turf at TouVelle Stadium.
Coach Habenicht is survived by his loving wife, Evelyn; children, Nan (John) Cord, and her five children and five grandchildren, Jesse Kahler (Leslie) their children, Kaleb, Ayla, and Max; Cody Kahler; Cameo Losasso, her son, Jack Roche; Katherine Losasso (Seth), their son Hunter; and David Anthony Losasso. Kurt (Julie) Habenicht and their three children, Sarah, Justin, and Robert. Karen Habenicht and her three children, Abraham (Sarah) Blair and their son, Chaz; Benjamin (Alisha) Blair, their son Xavier, and Elizabeth Blair. Jill (Zack) Clement and their children, McKenna, Samuel and Greta; Allen (Natalie) Clement, Susan (Aaron) Lassila, Meredith (Doug) Adams and their children, Roxanne, Charlotte, Wendy, and Lydia; and Catherine Clement and her son, Elijah. A nephew, Christopher Tovar; brothers-in-law, Otis (Charmaine) Halligan, Boise, Idaho, Patrick Halligan, Seattle, Wash., and a sister-in-law, Madlyn Wafful, Roswell, N.M.
Merv was preceded in death by a son, Robert in 1974 his parents, and a sister, Karen Tovar. May they rest in peace.
(Quad-City Times, May 17, 2012)
SP4 USA Korea
Rock Island National Cemetery
Rock Island County
Plot: CW2 B 8
Created by: Paul Mack
Record added: May 16, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 90238043
Added: Aug. 8, 2014