Lorena Mae Mercer, age 72 years, of Holts Summit, Mo., passed away Friday, January 10, 2020 at her home.
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Lorena was born on July 4, 1947 in Mexico, Mo. the daughter of Felix and Lorena Pearl (Stringer) Dillion. She was married on July 7, 1978 in Sullivan, Mo. to James Mercer, who preceded her in death on July 18, 2011.
Lorena made a career for herself cleaning and helping those around her. She worked for the Christian Cleaning Service for several years and also operated her own cleaning company. She was proud of her accomplishment to become a dump truck driver during the 1970s when that was not a traditional woman’s career. Most recently, she helped with cleaning at St. Peter Catholic Church and enjoyed not only the work, but getting to know the priests and others there.
She was a strong woman of faith and a proud member of St. Peter Catholic Church. Her faith and personality made her want to volunteer and she never expected anything in return. She volunteered many hours over the years with the Senior Nutrition Center with their Meals on Wheels Program. She cherished the friendships that came from her involvement at the Senior Nutrition Center and became active in the Quick Quilter’s Club. She was happy to make quilts for her family and friends. Lorena was also an avid reader and usually was reading two or three books at the same time. She was constantly buying, selling, or borrowing. Some of her favorites being John Grisham novels, romance, westerns Louis Lamar novels, and she cherished her step dad Bob's collection.
Her fondest memories were always with her family. Lorena had a love for fishing and enjoyed spending time on any lake, especially if she was accompanied by one of her grandkids. For two years her whole family operated the Binder Lake Bait Shop and concession center. It was fabulous to have her parents, kids and husband there every day working, playing and fishing! She spent time in the woods with her sons’ deer hunting. However, it took her nearly 20 years to get her first deer! She loved hosting meals and cooking for them; with her birthday celebration over the 4th of July being her most treasured. Lorena’s family will remember her big heart, strong work ethic and independent personality.
Survivors include: three children, Tama Bratton (Bill) of Holts Summit, Mo., Gary Wilson (Betty) of Tebbetts, Mo., and John Bilyeu of Taos, Mo.; step-brother, Bill Wyman (Margaret) of Lake Ozark, Mo.; fourteen grandchildren, Ciera Miller (Glen), Shane Wilson (Kim), Chris Turner (Klarissa), Tyler Wilson (Samantha), Dakota Morgan, Meleana Fisk, Aaron Wilson, Mason Bilyeu, Shannon Bilyeu, Michelle Heislen (Chad), Mike Kallenbach, Amber Wilde (Mark), Arin Vanloo (Daniel) and Brandi Bloomer; ten great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren; nieces, Anna Fuchs and Jeanna Immekus; and nephews, Robert Turner (Darla) of Osage Beach, Mo. and Howard Turner.
Lorena was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Jim; her only sister, Wanda Campbell; a great-grandchild, Callen Turner; and her beloved Westie, Pearly Mae.
Visitation will be held at St. Peter Catholic Church from 8:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. Friday, January 17, 2020.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be conducted at 10:30 a.m. Friday, January 17, 2020 at St. Peter Catholic Church with the Reverend Jeremy Secrist officiating. Private graveside services and interment will be held at Hawthorn Memorial Gardens.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to the Lorena Mercer Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 95, Jefferson City, Mo. 65102.
Funeral arrangements are under the care of Freeman Mortuary.