Barbara Lawes Mercer, 91, passed away peacefully at home in Rumson, New Jersey on May 4, 2022. She was the beloved wife of Henry D. Mercer, Jr. for 67 years and a loving mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend. The adored daughter of Donald E. and Bessie B. Lawes, Barbara was born on February 18, 1931 in Long Branch, New Jersey and raised in Little Silver, New Jersey. She was a graduate of Markham Place School, Vail-Deane School, and Marjorie Webster Junior College. Upon college graduation, Barbara was an elementary school teacher.
A life-long resident of Monmouth County, Barbara married Dick, the love of her life, in 1955, and they moved to Rumson. She was a dedicated member of the Public Health Nursing Association in the 1950s and 1960s, an involved parishioner at St. George’s By-the River Church, and a devoted parent volunteer at the Rumson Country Day School. Barbara was an active member of the Rumson Country Club where she enjoyed golf and platform tennis. She crewed for her husband, Dick, in the Arrow Class at the Rumson Yacht Club. Her husband named his sailboat “Bobsie” after her. She was a strong supporter of junior sailing and all her children’s and grandchildren’s pursuits. Barbara loved to swim; the pool and ocean at Sea Bright Beach Club were favorite spots.
Among Barbara’s most passionate hobbies was gardening; her rose and dahlia gardens brought great joy to her life. Barbara was also an avid reader and loved attending Broadway shows in New York City. Of all her varied talents, her greatest was as a musician. Barbara was a gifted pianist who played songs by ear; she continued to play her favorite show tunes until the end of her life. The Mercer household was filled with music and Barbara was often called upon to entertain friends at parties. She also loved to dance with her favorite dance partner, Dick.
Barbara’s family was always most important to her. Her devotion to family, inner strength, and resilience leaves an indelible legacy. She was predeceased by her parents, her brother Donald E. Lawes, Jr. and son, Andrew W. Mercer. She is survived by her husband and three children; Henry D. Mercer III and his wife Joan of Locust, NJ, Deborah Mercer Ribas of Westwood, MA, and Marilyn M. Bell and her husband Charles of Colts Neck, NJ. She is also survived by her grandchildren: Dickson, Sarah, Anna, William, Elizabeth, and Matthew, as well as her great grandchildren, Henry, Hope, and Eloise. She also leaves behind her sister-in-law, Eleanor Lawes, brother-in-law, Douglas D. Mercer and eleven nieces and nephews.
Thompson Memorial Home in Red Bank, NJ is entrusted with the arrangements. Funeral services will be private.