Margaret Anne Mercer, 90, passed away peacefully at home with family; she entered into eternal rest on Wednesday, May 9, 2018. She will be greatly missed by her family, but she will live on forever in their hearts through their treasured memories.
Born Sept. 1, 1927, in Globe to K.J. Szyperski and Marie Schrepferman Szyperski, Margaret attended school in Globe and graduated from Globe High School in 1945 as Valedictorian of her class. Following graduation, she worked at Arizona Edison (now APS) until she got married.
She loved music and began taking piano lessons at age 3. She often reminisced about playing piano duets with her father while she was growing up. An accomplished pianist, she accompanied the Globe High School Boys Glee Club from seventh grade through her senior year in high school. At the conclusion of her senior year, she performed a solo full-length concert of classical music. Gifted with a beautiful singing voice, Margaret sang in the Globe High School Girls Glee Club. At the age of 13, she began playing the organ at Holy Angels Church. For the next several decades she played the organ, directed the choir, and sang in the choir at Holy Angels Church, Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church, and St. Therese’s Chapel at Roosevelt.
Margaret grew up with Bill Mercer; both their families attended Holy Angels Church in Globe and Bill sang in the GHS Boys Glee Club. Bill took Margaret to her senior prom in 1945. Their romance blossomed, and they were married on Nov. 21, 1946. They demonstrated their loving commitment to each other in spite of any hardships throughout their 65 years together. They renewed their wedding vows at St. Therese’s Chapel on their 64th anniversary in 2010.
Following their marriage, Margaret moved with Bill to the dairy farm which he ran for his parents. The couple resided at the farm located near the Salt River on the road to Young during their first years of marriage and purchased it from his parents in 1948. They expanded it from only dairy by leveling fields to raise crops for hay. Their first son, Mike, was born the day before their second wedding anniversary.
By 1953 they had three children. They purchased their home in Globe to raise their family so their children could attend school without a long daily trip on a dirt road to a one-room schoolhouse in Roosevelt. After moving to Globe, Margaret was a dedicated homemaker as their family grew to include 10 children. She was very involved in their children’s lives as they were growing up; she served as room mother, Girl Scout troop leader, Cub Scout den mother, and a very active member of the Home and School Association (HSA). She sewed the majority of her children’s clothes, cooked nutritious homemade meals, and baked delicious desserts.
The couple continued to work the farm on weekends during these years. Although they discontinued the dairy farming, they added pecan orchards, raised cattle, and boarded horses. They further developed the property by adding a grocery store/gas station, Rock House Grocery, which they opened in 1963 and continued to operate until 2016. They leveled some of the land for trailer spaces and expanded the trailer park over the years.
Holy Angels School was very important to Margaret. In addition to her involvement with the HSA, when her youngest child was in third grade she began volunteering twice a week in her children’s classrooms. Her volunteer work expanded to being a full time volunteer for at least the next 30 years. She helped in the classrooms, worked in the office, assisted in fundraising activities, and provided assistance anywhere else the principal needed her. She especially enjoyed tutoring children in reading. Sr. Leonie called her “one-in-a-million” and relied heavily on her help and her friendship. She eventually had to quit her volunteer work at Holy Angels School when it became necessary to take care of her husband full time due to his health issues.
Margaret was active in the Catholic Church. She participated in the Altar Society, served as the organist, and sang in or directed choirs. She lived her faith by setting the example of loving thy neighbor. She donated generously to her church communities and to a multitude of charities that provided clothing and shelter for the homeless, food for the poor, education for disadvantaged or at-risk youth, and medical care for those in need.
Margaret was an excellent role model for her family whom she loved, enjoyed, and put foremost in her life. She enjoyed sharing stories about her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. One of her labors of love was sending cards to family and friends commemorating every birthday, holiday, or special occasion and condolences to those who had suffered the loss of a loved one. She was happiest when she was with her loved ones and treasured the time she got to spend with her family.
Her hobbies included reading, working crossword puzzles and word puzzles, crocheting, embroidery, needlepoint, latch hook wall hangings, ceramic paintings, and making beaded decorations. She donated many of the beautiful afghans she made to fundraising activities for Holy Angels School. Travel included trips to England for the birth of her first grandson, Ireland, Hawaii, California, Michigan, Texas, and the Washington DC area.
Margaret is survived by her 10 children: Mike Mercer (Carol), and Alice Lopez (Richard), of California; Pat England (Keith), Joe Mercer, Tim Mercer (Mary), Mary Hawkins (Gene), and Christina “T.J.” Tanner (Forrest), of Globe; Charlie Mercer (Grace), of Tucson; Ellie Krolick (Dave), of Texas; David Mercer (Pam), of Colorado; and nephew, Robert Clinger (Clairette), of Scottsdale along with numerous other nieces and nephews.
She is survived by 29 grandchildren: Diane Mercer, Michele Benney (Kevin), Brian England, Kevin England, Mark England, Paul England, Joy Jimenez (Marcos), Rebekah Hockaday (Marvin), Kourtney Gonzales (Michael), Kurissa Mercer, Russell Hawkins, Ted Hawkins (Barb), Becky Hawkins, Kristin Lowe (Dan), Mandy Francisco, Jessica Johnson, Sean Lopez (Magaly), Shelley Lopez, Michael Lopez, Matthew Lopez, Ricardo Lopez, Tiffany Mercer, Elizabeth Mercer, Stephen Krolick (Shelby), Ryan Krolick, Dalton Mercer, Derek Mercer, Darian Mercer, and Danaka Mercer.
Margaret is also survived by 37 great-grandchildren: Nathan and Megan Benney; Jaela, Logan, Kyler, and Myryn England; Joseph, Antonio, Jazmyn, and Alyssa Jimenez; Aaron (Savanah), Jared, and Aimee Hockaday; Mariah, Miah, Ivan, and Michael II Gonzales; Foresterr and Alexavier Mercer; Damien and Vincent Hawkins; Meagan Huffman; Brandon and Aaron Boerst; Rachel, Sarah, and Hannah Lowe; Tori Copeland; Ashlyn Earven; John-Wayne and Michael Francisco; Sherri Oien; Megan Hampton; Kyle and Craig Johnson; Genna Lopez, and Gatsby Lopez; and five great-great grandchildren: Milanah Moore, Boaz Lowe, Area and Abigail Hockaday, and Lydia Oien.
She was preceded in death by her father, K. J. Szyperski; mother, Marie Schrepferman Szyperski; sister, Katharine Clinger; granddaughter, Amy Mercer; and grandson, Kenneth Mihalovich.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, 844 W. Sullivan St., Miami, AZ 85539 for support of St. Therese’s Chapel in Roosevelt, or your favorite charity.
On Thursday, May 17, visitation will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. at Lamont Mortuary. Funeral services will be held at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Miami on Friday, May 18. Visitation begins at 9 a.m. followed by rosary at 9:30 a.m. and Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. Burial will be at Mountain Breeze Memorial Gardens. Following interment, a reception will be held at Our Lady’s Parish Hall.