Edward E. Mercer
Edward E. Mercer
  • March 5, 1934 - December 14, 2017
  • Columbia, South Carolina

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COLUMBIA – Edward Everett Mercer, age 83, died Thursday, December 14, 2017. He was born in March 5, 1934 in Buffalo, New York to Nelson Martin Mercer and Isabelle Burke Mercer.

He was married 60 years to Carol Nolan Mercer. He was predeceased by his parents and brothers, Nelson and Raymond Mercer. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his children, Mary Bell (Frank) of Rock Hill, Everett Mercer (Carolyn), Judy Fleshman (Ed), both of Columbia, Richard Mercer of Orlando, FL, Chris Mercer (Sharon), and Ellen Adams (Tim), both of Columbia; 16 grandchildren; 1 great-grandchild; and sisters, Marilyn Collins (Mike) of Buffalo, NY and Isabelle Murphy of Lockport, NY.

He graduated in 1955 from Canisius College in Buffalo, NY. He earned a PhD in Chemistry from Purdue University in 1961, followed by post-doctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley.

In 1961, he joined the Chemistry faculty at the University of South Carolina where he established an active research group, working mainly with ruthenium complexes. These important complexes are referred to in text books and chemical literature as “Mercer dimers.” This research was pivotal in establishing the area of mixed valence chemistry, an area of both academic and industrial importance.

He was an outstanding and dedicated teacher in the classroom, teaching thousands of undergraduates at all levels. He wrote a number of lab manuals and study guides and then collaborated with two other USC faculty to produce a major new book for the Introductory Chemistry market. This book has been and is being used by tens of thousands of students at USC and other universities across the nation.

He served as Associate Dean of the Department of Science and Mathematics for 9 years until he retired in 1993 as a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

He was active in the Irish Children Summer Program serving as treasurer and hosted children from Belfast in his home. He worked with the Columbia Summer Swim League where he is remembered by many as a starter and stroke judge.

During integration in the 1960s, he was a member of the Cayce Neighborhood Association, a group working to improve interracial relations.

He worked with the Catholic Charities Clean of Heart program which provides showers and laundry services for Columbia’s homeless, many of whom became dear to his heart. He served as head of the St. Vincent de Paul Society weekly food pantry at St. Joseph Catholic Church.

He was an avid swimmer, completing a mile a day for over 30 years. He was a fan of all Gamecock athletic sports teams.

Overall, he could be described as a good, humble and generous man who will be missed by many.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, December 21, 2017 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, with interment in the church memorial gardens. The Rosary will be recited at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, December 20, 2017, followed by visitation until 8:00 p.m. at Dunbar Funeral Home, Devine Street Chapel.

Memorials may be made to St. Vincent de Paul Society of St. Joseph Catholic Church or a charity of one’s choice.

Please sign the online guestbook at www.dunbarfunerals.com.