Herbert Randolph Mercier Jr. died peacefully on April 23, 2016 at his home in Edgartown with family. He was 84 years old.
Born on April 29, 1931 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, he was the son of Herbert Mercier Sr. and Veronica Schultz. At the age of three, his family moved to Martha’s Vineyard. He attended the college prep school of Bridgton Academy in Maine. On the day of his graduation from Bentley College, June 16, 1951, he married the love of his life, Claire Fournier, of New Bedford.
Herbert and Claire built a home on Cooke Street in Edgartown and over the years had nine children. To provide for his family, Herbert owned and operated a number of businesses including K. T. Galley Construction and Hardware Store, Mercier and Sons Hardware, and Herby Derby’s Ice Cream Shop. Herbert also worked in the Oak Bluffs town accountant’s office. Even after retiring at age 78, he continued as bookkeeper for Edgartown Marine.
He was an active member of the school committee and an Edgartown assessor. In 1973 he received his pilot’s license and flew his family and friends in the planes that he owned for over twenty years. One of his greatest adventures was flying to California and back with his wife, Claire, in his single-engine plane. Herbert was a devoted member of the Catholic Church and was honored with the Marian Medal for his service. Many have been recipients of his Christian generosity.
His loved ones will always remember him as the beacon of light that guided the expansive Mercier family with his love, knowledge, support and humor – and for that, they are forever grateful. No family member will be able to watch Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, old westerns, or a Duke basketball game without a happy memory of him.
He is survived by his wife Claire, his sons and daughters Jeanne (Barry), Herbert III “Randy” (Katheryn “Kathy”), Paul, Peter, Patricia, Patrick (Christine), Philip (Susan), Paulee (Douglas), twenty-nine grandchildren, thirty-five great-grandchildren, and his brother Lawrence. He is pre-deceased by his daughter Suzanne.
A visitation will be held on Thursday, April 28 from 6:00pm – 8:00pm in the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, Edgartown Road, Oak Bluffs. His funeral mass will be held on Friday, April 29, 11:00 am in St. Elizabeth’s Church, Main Street, Edgartown followed by burial in the New Westside Cemetery, Edgartown.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Herbert’s memory to Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard. P.O. Box 1748, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568.