---- — Berniece “Bea” Irene Mercer, 87, of Centralia, passed away at 4:10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013, at Fireside House in Centralia.
She was born on Jan. 8, 1926, in Mt. Vernon, the daughter of Herman and Margaret (Pace) Wescott. Berniece married Melvin O. Mercer on Jan. 15, 1949, in Vandalia, and he survives in Centralia.
In addition to her husband, Mrs. Mercer is survived by a son, Stanley Alan Mercer and wife Kathy of St. Joseph; daughter, Lynn Margaret Sterling and husband Grant of Charleston; two nieces, Elizabeth Harlow of Mt. Vernon and Dianna Schram of Salem; two nephews, Benjamin Harlow of Mt. Vernon and Bill Morlan of Centralia; sister, Betty Harlow of Mt. Vernon; five grandchildren, Aaron Mercer, Andrew Mercer and Anna Mercer, all of St. Joseph, Phillip Sterling of Shelbyville and Alexandra Sterling of Charleston; and one great-grandchild, Edyn Bea Mercer.
She was preceded in death by her parents; a son, James Martin Mercer; and a sister, Marian.
She was a homemaker. In her early years she served as secretary to the president of the Security Bank in Mt. Vernon. After the birth of her first child, she stayed home to raise her three children. She and Melvin were married for 64 years. She was a member of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for over 45 years, serving in many positions including trustee.
Services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at Irvin Funeral Home in Centralia with the Rev. Elaine Bush officiating. Interment will follow in the Bethel Cemetery in Mt. Vernon.
Friends may call from noon to 1 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home.
Memorials may be made to the Boys Town, and will be accepted at the Irvin Funeral Home in Centralia, in charge of arrangements.
You may visit irvinfuneralhome.com to leave an online condolence for the family.