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TULARE, California — Harry Joe Mercer, 96, of Tulare, California, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018.

He is survived by his children, Harry D. Mercer and wife Helen, Patrick G. Mercer and wife Marie, Valerie Herschede and husband Dean, John K. Mercer and wife Colleen, and Donna Carrillo and husband Carlos. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren, Beth Mercer-Taylor (Peter), Joanna Greenwalt (Chuck), Christopher Mercer, Kathy Millis (Jeff), Kim Kraiter, Lily Mercer, Rose Mercer, Vicente Carrillo, Maria Carrillo, Adan Carrillo, and seven great-grandchildren, Andrew, MT and David Mercer-Taylor, Michael and Christopher Millis, and Zachary, Taelyr and Gabrella Kraiter. 

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 72 years, Gemma Beaubien Mercer, his parents Gem and Lydia Mercer, brother Gerry Mercer, brother Gem Mercer, sister Lena Thomas, sister Rita Nelson, and grandchildren Jonathan Mercer and Stephanie Cash.

Harry was born and raised in Missoula. He served in the Navy during World War II, and after the war was over he returned to Missoula with his wife Gemma. He went into the travel trailer business with his brothers, and was an avid fisherman. In midlife he and Gemma decided to move to El Centro, California. There Harry worked in economic development as a consultant for the city. He became very active in Navy League, helped to found the Imperial Valley Art Council, and created many beautiful paintings. When Harry retired, he and Gemma moved to Tulare, California to be closer to family. He painted, golfed, and joined the Brotherhood of Veterans. Harry and Gemma loved to travel, and enjoyed many happy adventures together in their motorhome visiting family and friends.

A rosary and memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 10, at Miller’s Tulare Funeral Home on 151 N. H Street, Tulare CA, 559-686-3316. In lieu of flower, donations may be made to AMVETS National Service Foundation, PO Box 96175, Washington, D.C., 20090-6175. Call 800-810-7148 or visit

the life of: Harry Joe Mercer
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