Dear Chaffey Family,
I am sorry to inform you that Jack Mercer, our retired band director from Chaffey High School, passed away in his sleep last night, August 26, 2014. Jack has been struggling with recent heart problems and was awaiting a pacemaker operation. He made a tremendous local impact serving as the CHS Band Director from 1958 until his retirement in 1985. Under his direction, the Chaffey High School Marching Tiger Band and attached units, composed of over 300 students, became well known and performed in many high profile venues including the 1966 Pro Bowl played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. He created the prestigious Chaffey Tournament of Bands, which continues to draw top bands to Ontario every year. Upon his retirement, Jack formed the inaugural Chaffey Alumni Band, now known as the Ontario-Chaffey Community Show Band, and performs frequent concerts, free of charge, to the community in historic Gardiner W. Spring Auditorium. He passed the baton and leadership of the Community Show Band last June.
Music and family, including his dedication to the Chaffey family, were his lifelong passions. The instrumental music building at Chaffey High School is officially named Mercer Music Hall in his honor and Jack claimed that was his greatest personal honor. A portrait bust of Jack Mercer, by noted sculptor and 1962 CHS graduate Pam de la Roche Murphy, is proudly on display at the Chaffey Community Museum of Art.
Many friends and family will miss Jack, including Dr. Jane Mercer, his wife of many years and a longtime community supporter. We will keep you informed as memorial services are finalized, but in the meantime we appreciate if you would keep Jack and his family in your thoughts and prayers.
Chaffey Joint Union High School District
Click here to read Jack's obituary in the Inland Daily Bulletin
Edward Bruce Berryman passed away peacefully at age 94 on August 13, 2014 from cancer. He was born on August 9, 1920 in Chicago, Illinois. He moved to Fontana in 1933 and graduated from Chaffey High School in 1938. Ed continued his education at Chaffey College (Class of 1940) and played the drums in the college theater orchestra and marching band. Ed earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the California Maritime Academy, majoring in Marine Steam and Electrical Engineering.
During World War II Ed served in the United States Navy in the South Pacific and continued in the Naval Reserve for the next 26 years, retiring with the rank of Commander, USNR in 1980. He worked as a metallurgical engineer at Kaiser Steel in Fontana, retiring in 1977 after 30 years of service.
Ed was a 54-year member and past commander of Ontario Old Baldy Post #2085, Veterans of Foreign Wars; a member of Masonic Lodge #301 in Ontario and Scottish Rite; and an active member of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Ontario for 70 years. In 1998 he was a finalist for City of Ontario Volunteer of the Year. Ed served on the Chaffey High School Alumni Association board of directors for over 30 years, and as president for 25 years. He was honored as Tiger of the Year in 2006 and is known to many as the face of the Alumni Association.
Ed is survived by his wife of 66 years, Emmy Lou Williams Berryman '39; sons Steven '67 (wife Alida) and David '69 (companion Diana West); grandchildren Kristen (Scott) Bibeau; Maxwell (Rachel) Berryman, Jill Berryman and Ginger Berryman; nephew Anthony (Rose) Hestand and niece Janis (Kevin) Walker and families, and his American Field Service student Dr. Udo '71 (Daniela) Saueressig and family of Germany.
In addition to family related by blood, Ed leaves a large extended family of neighbors and friends who hold him and Emmy Lou dear. Ed and Emmy Lou built their home in Ontario in 1950, and it has been a gathering place and safe haven for friends and neighbors and their children- John and Juenenne Jackson; Brenda Bartell, Traci Bartell (deceased) and Don Bartell; Diana Campbell and children Marina, Zoe and Benjamin; Debbie Bowen; and many others.
Ed will be remembered for his volunteer service to many organizations in Ontario, his untiring devotion to Chaffey High School, his easy laugh, love for Emmy Lou, and his big heart that had room for everyone.
Memorial services will be held at 10:30 am on Saturday, August 23 at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Ontario. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Ed's memory to the Chaffey High School Alumni Association, 1245 N. Euclid Ave., Ontario, CA 91762
Published in Inland Valley Daily Bulletin on Aug. 20, 2014
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