Obituary - CLAIRE MERCER

 


By her son, Dr. Lane Mercer

Claire Mercer, a long-standing Orlando area resident, passed away after a brief illness on April 9, 2024 (1 Nisan 5784). She was 95 years old. Claire was born at the beginning of the Great Depression and spent most of her childhood in Newark, New Jersey. Growing up during the Depression, her childhood was difficult. She would joke that times were so tough her parents could not afford a middle name for her. A graduate of Weehawken High School in Newark, circumstances prevented her from pursuing a career in journalism that she strongly desired. Instead, she worked as an executive secretary in a large insurance company until, on Sadie Hawkins Day 1948, she met Marvin Mercer at a dance at the YM-YWHA in Newark. The two fell in love and married less than six months later.

Both Claire and Marvin, being only children, wanted a large family and had six children. In 1959, Claire fulfilled her desire for a higher education by attending Fairleigh Dickinson University and graduating with a Nursing Degree while raising four children. She proudly practiced her profession as both a hospital and office nurse until 1982 when Marvin retired and the couple moved to the Orlando area where they became very active in the Jewish Community Center of Orlando. After her husband’s untimely death, Claire threw herself into the Orlando Jewish Community working with the JCC for 40 years in various capacities. She had served multiple stints as president of the Senior Group “The 39ers”, as a member of the Board of the JCC, and for 16 years as the volunteer coordinator for Give the Kids the World, an organization that provides critically ill children with vacations to the area’s theme parks. Not only dedicated to the Orlando Jewish Community, at 61 years of age, she volunteered in the Israel Defense Force program, Sar-el, assisting soldiers with their non-combat duties. Over the years, Claire’s dedication to the Jewish Community has been recognized with the JCC Woman of the Year award, Eight over Eighty Award, and The Heritage Human Service Award in 2023.

Claire is survived by her children: Dr. Lane (Suzanne) Mercer, Ellen (Ken) Solomon, Dr. Brian (Nancy) Mercer, Holly (Dan) Soucy, and Dr. Jason (Suzie) Mercer. She is also survived by 13 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Funeral services will be private. Donations to honor Claire’s life can be made to the Orlando Jewish Community Center Senior Services or The Jewish Pavilion of Orlando.

 

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