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George Mercier celebrates 103rd birthday

Wesson native and resident George Mercier celebrated his 103rd birthday last month with the help of friends locally and the Mississippi State House of Representatives.

As he watched from his front porch on the evening of his birthday, May 8, locals driving by honked the horns of their vehicles and waved to acknowledge the special occasion. Becky Currie, the District 92 member of the Mississippi House of Representatives, presented a special proclamation from the legislative body signed by her and Philip Gunn, the House Speaker, that commended and congratulated him on the occasion of his birthday for his "life and heroism" as a "World War II veteran and United States Navy Lieutenant Commander."

Timothy George Mercier was born in Wesson on May 8, 1917, and graduated from Wesson High School, Co-Lin, and Louisiana State University where he earned a degree in chemical engineering.

The special legislative proclamation called him "an individual of wise counsel," citing his relationships as "a husband, father, son, brother, uncle, friend and veteran" to the people his life has touched.

The proclamation described how after initially going to work for Baton Rouge-base Ethyl Corporation, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, attended Naval Officers' Training School and served in the South Pacific to provide assistance and ordinance for ships and air craft and later with the Bureau of Ordinance of the Navy Department in Washington, DC.

For 73 years before her death in 2019, Mercier was married to the former Dorothy Ragland. She returned with Mercier to his native Wesson in 1972 after he retired following a twenty-year career with Ethyl Corporation for which he worked in Baton Rouge and Houston. Over that span of time, they had five children -- three of them now adult seniors themselves: Tim, 69, Anne, 67, Laurie, 64, Patricia, 57, and Chet, 55.

Mercier and his wife were active and faithful members of Wesson Presbyterian Church.

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