Norma Ilene (Rice) Mercer of Creston, Iowa was born September 10, 1931 in Corvallis, Oregon to Howard & Ora (Walter) Rice and passed away on April 22, 2022 at the MercyOne Hospice House in Johnston, Iowa with her husband & daughter at her side. Norma was the oldest of three children, having younger brothers Donald D. Rice & Marvin R. Rice. When Norma was an infant, her parents returned from Oregon to Mount Ayr, Iowa where she lived until 1957. She received her education through the 8th grade in the one-room country schools of Ringgold County & graduated from the Mount Ayr High School in 1950.
Following graduation, Norma became the secretary for the Superintendent of Schools for the Mount Ayr School District and later worked for the REC in Mount Ayr. She & her husband moved to Creston in the fall of 1957, opening their own business, Mercer Conoco. After starting her family in 1958, Norma was at home for several years, returning to work in 1969 as a secretary for the Creston School District, first at the high school & later at the Cromwell building. Throughout her life, Norma had jobs at Lane Grocery Store in Mount Ayr during high school, Wal-Mart Pharmacy in Creston, Southwestern Community College in Creston & was an Independent Mary Kay Consultant for several years. Norma also was the bookkeeper for her husband’s business.
On March 6, 1954 Norma married Billy B. Mercer of Mount Ayr at the Little Brown Church in Nashua, Iowa. To this union two daughters were born: Kathryn Marie & LeAnn Renee. Norma was a very active volunteer in all her daughters’ activities, her church & community. She was a Sunday School Teacher, Deaconess & Treasurer at the First Christian Church in Creston, volunteered many hours with PTA, Girl Scouts, Rainbow Girls, 4-H, delivered Meals on Wheels & was a Hospital Auxiliary member & volunteered in the hospital gift/coffee shop for almost 30 years dating all the way back to the old hospital on Oak Street.
Norma enjoyed many hobbies including sewing, crocheting, quilting, ceramics & making porcelain dolls. She created many wonderful things for family & friends throughout the years. Norma & Bill traveled to 46 states, Canada & Mexico. They enjoyed spending the winter months in Apache Junction, AZ for 25 years. Norma loved to play all kinds of card games & a family marble game called Wa-Hoo, especially with the grandchildren. She was very competitive when it came to games & she enjoyed playing bridge in local clubs & several different card games online with people from all over the world. In retirement, Norma enjoyed having morning coffee with friends several times a week at various locations in Creston.
A dream come true for Norma was getting to attend a taping of The Price is Right in 2005 when Bob Barker was still the host. She was not chosen to “come on down,” but was thrilled to be in the audience & on TV!
A highlight in Norma’s life was she & Bill getting to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary at The Little Brown Church with their family in attendance. Norma was baptized in 1957 at the First Christian Church in Mount Ayr. She was a member of the First Christian Church in Creston from the fall of 1957 until the time of her death. Norma was a wonderful wife & mother, her grandchildren were the joy of her life & she was thrilled to get to be a great grandmother.
Norma is survived by her husband of 68 years, Bill Mercer of Creston, IA, daughter Kathy (Daryl) Leffler of Urbandale, IA, grandsons David (April) Leffler of Urbandale, IA & Kevin (Jen) Leffler of Manning, IA, granddaughters Cori Leffler of Urbandale, IA & Lizzy Garcia of El Paso, TX, seven great grandchildren, Violet & Evelyn Leffler of Urbandale, IA, Ada, Greta, August & Nora Leffler of Manning, IA & Arianna Garcia of El Paso TX, sister-in-law Carolyn Rice of Leon, IA, many nieces & nephews, other extended family & friends. Norma was preceded in death by her parents, brothers, daughter LeAnn Mercer in 2019 & granddaughter Katie Leffler in 2021.
Saturday, April 30, 2022
Starts at 11:00am (Central time)
Inurnment will be at 2:00 p.m. at Rose Hill Cemetery in Mount Ayr.