PRINCETON — Jay L. Mercer passed away Friday, Jan. 24, 2014, in Princeton, one day after his 84th birthday.
Born and raised in Princeton, Jay attended Princeton High School, where he was a standout athlete. He attended Northwestern University on a football scholarship but enlisted in the Marines after his sophomore year and served in the Korean War. After his discharge, Jay then attended and graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University where he played football for another Princeton native, head coach Don Larson. Jay also met his future wife, Thora Harms at IWU and they were married in 1954. Jay then accepted a teaching position at United Township High School in East Moline, where he taught physical education, driver's education, and coached football, basketball and baseball. Jay also ran the East Moline summer municipal baseball program, and founded a semi-pro baseball team, the 76ers, which is still in existence to this day.
Jay is survived by two sons, Marcus of Lisle and Kyle of Naples, Fla., and two grandchildren, Skyler and Searra of Naples, Fla., a son and daughter of Kyle. He has a remaining sister, Mary Mercer Smith of State College, Pa.
He is preceded in death by his wife, Thora; two brothers, Don and Roger; and a sister, Barbara.
There will be no services.
The Norberg Memorial Home in Princeton is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be left at www.norbergfh.com.