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WILSON - William Lewis (Bill) Mercer, 85, died August 5, 2013 in Wilson, NC. Bill was the son of the late William L. Mercer, Wilson, NC.
Thomas B. and Iva W. Mercer. He was preceded in death by his sister, Isadore Baker.
Bill was happily married to Rachel Barbara Mattox Mercer for 63 1/2 years. He was the proud father of two sons, Joel William Mercer (married to Jacque) and Steven Paul Mercer (married to Karen); grandfather of Joel Richard Mercer (married to Jennifer), Andrew William Mercer, Katharine Mattox Mercer, Stephanie Lynn Joyner (married to Cameron Scott Joyner), and Christopher Gatling Mercer; and great grandfather of Audrey, Olivia, MacKenzie, and Logan. He is also survived by his sisters, Helen Ruth Page, Ruby Thorpe, Louise Roberts, Faye Tew, and Linda Lamm, and his brother, Roney T. Mercer.
Bill was born July 24, 1928 and grew up on the family farm. He graduated from Rock Ridge High School in 1946 and took coursework at NC State University. He was called to military service in the Air Force in 1952. He served four years and was promoted to Staff Sergeant. He served seven years with the NC Department of Labor before returning to his home county of Wilson where he worked for 26 years as a Compliance Officer for the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor prior to retirement in 1989.
He was a member of First Baptist Church, where he served in a variety of roles, including Deacon, Finance Chairman, and Sunday School Leader for many years. He was an active leader in the church's Baptist Men's and Scouting programs for Pack 8 and Troop 8. He worked with the Wilson District and East Carolina Council, earning many awards including the Silver Beaver, God and Country, and Woodbadge. He travelled to Philmont Scout Ranch two times, serving the Association of Baptists for Scouting and the East Carolina Council.
Bill enjoyed fishing, woodworking, and working in his yard and garden. As a Master Gardener for many years, he completed coursework with the Extension Service in order to provide information and support to gardeners across the county. Bill always had a servant's heart, and helping others was a daily expression of his Christian faith.
The family would like to express their sincere appreciation for the many visits, cards, and prayers of their friends and for the care they have received from the folks from Community Home Care and Hospice. Their friends always made sure that Bill and Barbara knew they remained valued members of their church and community.
The family will be at Wilson Memorial Service, 2811 Fieldstream Drive, Thursday, 7:00 - 8:30 PM.
Memorials are suggested to First Baptist Church, PO Box 1467, Wilson, NC 27894, or to Baptist Children's Home, PO Box 338, Thomasville, NC 27361.
Funeral, Friday, 11:00 AM, First Baptist Church. Interment, Maplewood Cemetery.
Published in Rocky Mount Telegram on Aug. 8, 2013