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Jesse Mercer

Posted By obits On January 15, 2015 @ 3:26 pm In Elizabeth City,Obituaries | 19 Comments

Jesse Mercer

Jesse Bland Mercer was born 7 January 1930, the son of Jesse Pritchard Mercer and Wrenn Hemby Mercer.  He graduated from Elizabeth City High School in 1948 and attended High Point College for his freshman year. He transferred to N.C. State College for his sophomore year. In the fall of 1950 he enlisted in the United States Navy. After basic training, he spent the next year in electronics school, finishing with Technical Electronics A & B certifications.

He was discharged in 1954 and attended the University of North Carolina. He returned to High Point for the last semester of his senior year and graduated with a BS degree in Business Administration.

The next two years he worked in Greensboro in electronics design. He then entered East Carolina College and graduated with a MA degree in Business Administration with a minor in Education. Further graduate work was done at the University of South Florida, and Old Dominion University.

He accepted a position as Academic Headmaster of Blankinship Schools, Inc. where he set up the academic programs at Carolina Military Academy in Maxton, N.C.; Vardell Hall in Red Springs; and at The Highlands School for Girls in Avon Park, Florida. In addition to his duties as Academic Headmaster, he taught junior and senior English at each of the schools.

When the Blankinship schools closed because of the death of the founder, Jesse returned to Elizabeth City and joined the faculty of College of the Albemarle where he taught until he retired in 1996 with the rank of Associate Professor.

Since retirement, he has indulged an interest in writing and presently has 5 novels in publication as well as nearly 100 short stories posted to the secretgardenstories.org site.

He was a founding member of the Northeastern North Carolina Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, for which organization he has served as secretary and chaplain. He was a long time member of the Organ Historical Society. He is a charter member of the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, where he has been Chairman of the Altar Guild for some years, and served as Layreader.

Before there was a Lutheran church in Elizabeth City, he sang in the choir of the First United Methodist Church for a number of years.

He is survived by five godsons and a number of cousins.

A funeral service will be held on Monday, January 19, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.  The family will receive friends at Twiford Memorial Chapel on Sunday from 4:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. and immediately following the service at the church.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations made to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 501 Interpath Parkway, Elizabeth City, NC 27909.  Twiford Funeral Home, Memorial Chapel, 405 E. Church Street, Elizabeth City is assisting the Mercer family.  Condolences may be sent to the family at www.twifordfh.com.

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Condolence from LeVern Parker on January 15th, 2015 11:50 pm

So sorry to hear about Jesse. I taught with him at College of the Albemarle and enjoyed many conversations with him over the years. He will be missed.

Condolence from Phillip Jernigan on January 16th, 2015 6:54 am

One of my favorite teachers from COA back in the 70’s. I can still see him standing in front of the class with his eyes closed and reciting the book word for word. An amazing person with a great sense of humor.

Condolence from Robert & Shirley Weis on January 16th, 2015 10:49 am

Jesse was our good friend. We enjoyed his company over the years at many church gatherings and in our home.
He was always so proud of his Christmas house decorations. May he now rest with his Savior.

Condolence from Mary L. Blalock on January 16th, 2015 4:06 pm

Am posting this for my brother, George Blalock, in Mobile, AL, a former student of Capt. Mercer at Carolina Military Academy. George sends his sympathy, saying Capt. Mercer was a good man whom he thought a lot of. Prayers go with family and friends.

Condolence from John Boots on January 16th, 2015 5:33 pm

Jesse and I corresponded regularly, discussing our mutual love of pipe organs and organ music.

He will be missed.

Condolence from Nancy Susan Keyser on January 16th, 2015 8:00 pm

Jesse Mercer was our Headmaster and my English teacher at The Highlands School for Girls. He was such a unique and memorable person. I adored him and will continue to think of him fondly and often. My sympathies to all his family.

Condolence from Mary Garth Flood on January 16th, 2015 10:55 pm

RIP Jesse…… You changed my life at The Highlands School for Girls in Florida by introducing me to the wonders of great literature and poetry. You have been a good friend for over 40 years and I will never forget you. Prayers to the family and friends.

Condolence from Terri Hill Hardesty on January 17th, 2015 12:22 am

On Behalf of All the Highlands Girls:
Mr. Mercer was a Great teacher and friend to all of us. He made a huge impact on each and everyone of us. RIP Jesse Mercer! We were Blessed to have you as a friend. Prayers go out to his family.

Condolence from Jonta Charrier on January 17th, 2015 9:01 am

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I have thought about Uncle Jesse over the years and he will always have a special place in my heart.

Condolence from Sydney Watson Flood on January 17th, 2015 12:20 pm

Mr. Mercer was a wonderful teacher for me at Highlands. He had a love of language that he passed to others. These many years later I still think of him & his smile. I am glad he was a part of my life.

Condolence from Patrice D. Evans on January 17th, 2015 5:59 pm

Mr. Mercer was headmaster and my English teacher at Highlands. He taught me a lot that I will never forget. RIP Mr. Mercer and condolences to his family.

Condolence from Michelle Canfield on January 17th, 2015 8:29 pm

Rest in peace dear cousin. We miss your holiday decorations and greetings it was always wonderful to hear from you.

Condolence from Albert and Melinda DelGarbino on January 17th, 2015 10:39 pm

Our thoughts and prayers are with your family.
Sincerely,
Al and Min DelGarbino

Condolence from Doug Rogers on January 18th, 2015 5:38 pm

What do I say of my friend? He was a gifted story teller, a passionate devotee of organ music, and a dear Friend. Jess and I met over the internet in 1999. We were both involved with a writer’s site, and we ended up editing each other’s writings for the first decade of the new millinium. I first traveled from my home in Kentucky to meet him in 1999 on the pre-text of traveling through Elizabeth City. He insisted that I stay with him, and we hit it off. I would come (often bringing another friend who shared our love of writing) for a week each year. So, thank you, Jess… for 16 wonderful weeks of treasured visits, and for being a friend when I needed one. Rest in Peace. You have earned it.

Condolence from Earl Dunphy on January 18th, 2015 8:19 pm

I was sadden to her of the passing of “Bland”” Jesse Mercer. He had been a good friend as well as frequent guest of my Aunt, Rose G. Jennings during her lifetime and after her death we remained in contact. While Bland and I did not always see eye to eye on issues we had many good discussions on a wide range of topics and his dry wit and viewpoints on issues shall be missed.
Sincerely, Earl Dunphy

Condolence from Tony Hornthal on January 20th, 2015 9:28 am

Jess has been a friend of many years. He lived a full and valuable life. In my recent contacts, his health was failing and it seemed to me that “he had his bags packed” and was ready to move on to the next phase of his eternal life. He was a kind and decent man.

Condolence from Michael Lynch on January 25th, 2015 12:01 pm

Very sad to learn of your passing, you were a great teacher and a great person. You won’t be forgotten

Condolence from Rodger Rossman on January 25th, 2015 12:17 pm

I think of Mr. Mercer often. He was one of my favorite teachers at College of The Albemarle. I will always remember his disdain for come-putters (which he later begrudgingly adopted for writing). He made an impact on my wife and myself which has lasted and will continue to last for as long as we live.

Condolence from Jimmy Corbett on January 28th, 2015 12:36 am

My thought & prayers are with the family & friends of Bland. He & I & our families have been friends for generations. He was a good friend in my youth. We organized a stamp club, sang in choir at 1st Baptist, etc. I wish I had seen more of him in our later years.

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