Ardith D. (Essex) Mercer was born SE of Miami on July 21, 1924 to John Arson and Eva (Brice) Essex.

Ardith graduated from Fairland High School in 1942 where she and twin sister, Ardie, dressed identically for the entire twelve years. After she graduated she was employed at Patterson Manufacturing in Miami for five years. Ardith married Joe Fred Mercer on July 19, 1947 and they moved to Kelso, Washington where she was employed at the Longview Fiber Co. They moved back to Miami in 1949.

Ardith is preceded in death by her brothers, William Orval (Mutt) Essex, Ray I. Essex and L.M. Essex; and sisters Cornelia Jane Sparkman and Ardie B. Unger.

Survivors include her husband, Joe; sons Elon and wife Carolyn Mercer of Miami and Daryl and wife Linda Mercer of Fairland; grandchildren Angie and David Pendergraft and Chris and Amy Mercer of Miami and Josh and Karen Gibson of Fairland; great-grandchildren Allison and Maggie Pendergraft, Maddox Mercer and Paige, Ashton, Cooper and Ty Gibson.

Pallbearers will be Lawson Essex, Troy Lee Essex, James Essex, David Sparkman, Chris Mercer, David Pendergraft and Josh Gibson.

Honorary pallbearers are Ronald Sparkman, Art Essex, Bob Mercer, Jack Mercer, George Mercer, Roy Murphy, Leo Schroeder, Bobby Schroeder, Jerry Chandler and Tyson Keith.

Funeral Services will be held at 11 a.m., Tuesday June 15, 2010 at First Christian Church of Miami with Pastor Gary Reed officiating. Interment will follow at Hickory Grove Cemetery. The family received friends for visitation on Monday evening June 14, 2010 from 6-7 p.m. at Cooper-Althouse Funeral Home of Miami.

The family has chosen Cooper-Althouse Funeral Home with their services.

Online guestbook and condolences are available at