James Duane Mercer, 78, Carbondale: Sept. 26, 1944 – Aug. 17, 2023 – Osage County Online | Osage County News

James Duane Mercer, 78, Carbondale: Sept. 26, 1944 – Aug. 17, 2023

CARBONDALE, Kan. – James Duane Mercer, 78, of Carbondale, Kan., went to be with the Lord on Aug. 17, 2023. Jim was born Sept. 26, 1944, in Topeka, Kan. He was born to Claude S. Mercer and Ilo May (Lindsay) Mercer. They preceded him in death.

James attended Carbondale Schools and graduated from Carbondale High School in 1962. He was married to his high school sweetheart, Venice Mae Grindal, on Feb. 9, 1963. She survives of the home. The Mercers owned and operated school buses for more than seven decades.

Together they had four children, Debbie (Jim), Tim (Angie), Stacey (Troy) and Brenda. They have four grandchildren, Abbie, Jacob (Kaitlyn), Samantha and Lauren (RJ); and eight great-grandchildren, Kadence, Jaxon, Paisley, Malia, Kallie, Roman, Kennedy, and Meilani.

Jim loved the Lord, and loved his wife of 60 years. His greatest pride came from his four children. He took great joy from watching his grandchildren and great-grandchildren grow. As an avid and lifelong hunter, Jim had the stories to tell! He loved the anticipation and planning for the next hunt with his son, grandson, and a few trusted friends. He spent hours on Google Earth plotting the best pathways to the tops of mountains. The only thing better than the planning was the stories told afterward – repeatedly to anyone who would listen. They only got better with time. Family vacations are priceless memories, spending nearly every summer in the Colorado mountains. Countless motorcycles, four-wheelers and vehicles (trucks, cars, vans, semis, boats) came and went in the search for the perfect mode of transportation for any need. Serving generations of children with safe transportation was his professional goal. Millions of miles were driven to ensure passable roads and filling in of calendar after calendar with buses needed for school activities to ensure every student made to it to competitions, games and events.

A celebration of his life will be 2 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 24, at Topeka Bible Church. Visitation will be prior to the service at 1 p.m.

As an avid, lifelong hunter, memorials are suggested to the SFT Trap Team and Hunter’s Safety program, sent in care of Penwell-Gabel Funeral Home, 1321 SW 10th Ave., Topeka, KS 66604. Condolences can be left at www.penwellgabeltopeka.com.

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