Mt. Vernon Register-News


February 11, 2014

Melvin Mercer

Melvin Otis Mercer, age 87, of Centralia, passed away Sunday morning, Feb. 9, 2014, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Centralia.

He was born on Nov. 7, 1926, in Mt. Vernon, the son of Edward and Edith (Harmon) Mercer. He married Bernice “Bea” (Westcott) on Jan. 15, 1949, in Vandalia, and she preceded him in death on Nov. 14, 2013.

Mr. Mercer is survived by a son, Stanley Alan Mercer and wife Kathy of St. Joseph; a daughter, Lynne Margaret Sterling and husband Grant of Charleston; five grandchildren, Aaron Mercer, Andrew Mercer, Anna Mercer all of St. Joseph, Phillip Sterling of Shelbyville and Alexandra Sterling of Charleston; a great-grandchild, Edyn Bea Mercer; a sister-in-law, Betty Harlow of Mt. Vernon; and four nieces and nephews, Bruce Morlan, Elizabeth Harlow, Ben Harlow and Diana Schram.

In addition to his wife, Melvin was preceded in death by his parents; a son, James Martin Mercer; and a sister, Roberta Morlan.

Melvin worked for over 20 years for E.W. Werner as International Harvester salesman and general manager. After he retired, he ran his own large truck filter and parts business for 15 years. He and “Bea” were married for 64 years and he was a longtime member of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), where he had served as elder. Recently he had attended the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer. Mr. Mercer spent many years of his adult life studying the Civil War. His hobbies included collecting antique tractors, coins and knives. He had served his country in the U.S. Navy during WWII.

Funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. on Wednesday at Irvin Funeral Home in Centralia with the Rev. Elaine Bush officiating. Interment will follow in the Bethel Cemetery at Mt. Vernon.

Friends may call from 12 noon until time of services at 1 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home.

For those who wish, memorials may be made to Boy’s Town and will be accepted at the Irvin Funeral Home in Centralia, who is in charge of arrangements.

Please visit to leave an online condolence for the family.

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