Mercer, Billy Bernard (1930-2022)
MERCER, CURRY, RICE
Posted By: Ken Wright (email)
Date: 8/28/2022 at 17:08:30
Billy Bernard Mercer was born April 15, 1930 in Taylor County, Iowa near the town of Clearfield. He passed away on August 21, 2022 at Edencrest at Green Meadows in Johnston, Iowa. Bill was the youngest of eight children born to Orie D. and Bessie (Curry) Mercer. His siblings were Edna, Cecil, Elgin, Edwin, Nellie, Marion and a brother who died in infancy. He grew up on farms in Taylor and Ringgold counties & attended one-room country schools through 8th grade. He attended high school in Delphos, Iowa, dropping out to work at age 16. He later received his GED diploma at SWCC in Creston, Iowa in October 1967. Bill was inducted into the U.S. Army in 1951 and received his honorable discharge in 1953. While serving, he was called home from Fort Meade, Maryland by the death of his mother. He also served at Fort Campbell, Kentucky and Fort Bliss in El Paso, TX. A highlight of his military service was participating in the inaugural parade of President Eisenhower in Washington D.C. On March 6, 1954, Bill married Norma Rice of Mount Ayr, Iowa at the Little Brown Church in Nashua, Iowa. To this union two daughters were born, Kathryn Marie and LeAnn Renee. Bill and Norma made their home in Mount Ayr until the fall of 1957 when they moved to Creston and opened their own business, Mercer Conoco Service Station on the corner of Elm and Mills. Later, he owned Mercer DX Service Station and Tank Wagon Service on Adams Street until selling the business in 1981. Bill enjoyed many different occupations in his lifetime: heavy equipment (bulldozer) operator in a limestone rock quarry, lineman for the REC and ISU, electrician, farmer, charter pilot, flight instructor, licensed airplane mechanic and over-the-road truck driver besides running the service station and tank wagon service for almost 25 years. He usually worked 2 or 3 jobs at the same time. Bill was a member of the Elks Lodge in Creston, member of the First Christian Church, served on the City Council in Creston in the late 1960's, was a Flying Farmers member, a member of Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association (AOPA) and Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). In 1971, Bill and Norma moved to the country, west of Creston, to fulfill Bill's dream of having an airstrip and airplane hangar at home! Flying was his PASSION! He had been a private pilot since 1960 and owned 30 planes throughout his life. He enjoyed charter flights and flying for pleasure all over the United States. In the 1980's he was able to take a dream trip by flying his own plane to Alaska! Bill and Norma enjoyed 25 winters in Apache Junction, AZ from 1981 to 2006. They had many friends from all over the United States and Canada. He loved to travel and had been to every state except Hawaii. He had also traveled in Mexico and Canada. Bill enjoyed deer and elk hunting in Colorado with a lifelong friend from his Army days, along with other friends and family. Additional hobbies included snowmobiling, motorcycling, and square dancing. He loved teaching his grandsons how to drive the tractor and pick-up, to fly, target shoot and about gun safety. He truly enjoyed the time spent with his granddaughters and loved to tease and watch their antics. His inner child came out when his great-grandchildren were born and he often had a baby in his lap at family gatherings. He was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather and provided well for his family. Bill is survived by his daughter, Kathy (Daryl) Leffler of Urbandale, IA, grandsons David (April) Leffler of Urbandale, IA, and Kevin (Jen) Leffler of Manning, IA, granddaughters Cori Leffler of Urbandale, IA and Lizzy Garcia of El Paso, TX, seven great-grandchildren, Violet and Evelyn Leffler of Urbandale, IA, Ada, Greta, August, and Nora Leffler of Manning, IA and Arianna Garcia of El Paso, TX, many nieces, nephews, other extended family and friends. Bill was preceded in death by his wife of 68 years, Norma on April 22, 2022, his parents, siblings, daughter LeAnn Mercer in 2019 and granddaughter Katie Leffler in 2021.
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