James Albert Neville MERCER

March 8, 1926 – Nov. 5, 2016

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved father, grandfather, and great-grandfather after a long, full and productive life. Jim was born in Nakusp, BC, and grew up in New Westminster. At the age of fourteen, he went to sea as an apprentice to become a master mariner. His early seafaring experiences included the merchant marine service and whaling ships in the North Pacific. He enlisted in the Royal Canadian Navy in 1943 and actively served in the North Atlantic for the remainder of WW II. His wartime experiences included convoy escorts and U-boat hunting. He remained in the Naval reserve for several years after WWII, during which time he worked for the Union Steamship Company and on dredges in the Fraser River.

Jim met his future wife Olive April Hadley in Newfoundland during the war. They were married in 1946. Jim left his maritime pursuits in 1955 and with their four sons they moved to the Cariboo region in central B.C. There they were involved in ranching and other business enterprises. Later in life Jim and April returned to the west coast, where Jim worked for the BC Ferries as well as operating vessels of their own. Born to be nomads, Jim and April made many moves during their 59 years of married life. As a result of their genuine congeniality, they gathered a wide circle of friends wherever they went. Jim was predeceased by April and son Robin. He was the patriarch of a large extended family living in Alberta, B.C., Yukon and Washington State. He maintained an active interest and involvement in the lives of all his family, for whom he was a considerate and patient mentor, friend, and role model. Left to mourn are his sons Jim (Betty Lou), Dan (Maureen) and Brian, as well as eight grandchildren and ten great- grandchildren. He was an honourable, dignified and authentic gentleman whose example will continue to guide us.

There will a celebration of Jim’s life on November 27 at 13:00 in the Legion hall at Strathmore, Alberta.


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