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Christopher C. Mercer Jr.

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Published: November 25, 2012

Attorney CHRISTOPHER C. MERCER JR., was born in Pine Bluff, Ark., March 27, 1924 to the late Castor C. and Tarvell Mercer. He is preceded in death by one brother, Harry Mercer and a sister-in-law, Pearl Herman. He entered his eternal home on Nov. 20, 2012, in Little Rock, Ark.

He graduated from Merrill High School in Pine Bluff in 1942. In 1946, he received an A.B. degree from AM&N College (UAPB). In 1949, C.C. entered the University of Arkansas School of Law in Fayetteville, as the third black student to enroll at the university, becoming one of the "Six Pioneers." In March 1954, he passed the Arkansas Bar Examination with the highest score. He received his law license on May 17, 1954, the same day of the Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education decision. He received his LLB degree from the U of A on Jan. 29, 1955.

He later served as executive director of the Arkansas Council on Human Relations and field secretary for the Arkansas chapter of the NAACP. During the "Little Rock Central High Crisis," he served as "aide-de-camp" to Mrs. Daisy Bates, counselor to the "Little Rock Nine," and drove five of them to and from school during their first semester.

During his 58 years in practice, he represented virtually every church denomination, served as a special judge in several courts in Pulaski County, was General Counsel for Shorter College in North Little Rock, Ark., and General Counsel for the international Connectional A.M.E. Church. He was the first African American in the South to be appointed Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in 1967.

He was a member of Bethel A.M.E. Church in Little Rock, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, the 20th Century Knights Social Club, and numerous other civic organizations. He received many awards for his excellence and tireless giving through his law practice and community service, including an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in May 2011 and the Silas Hunt Legacy Award in April 2012, both from the University of Arkansas.

C.C. married Inez LeMay in 1955, with whom he raised seven children. He later married Pamela James, with whom he had two children.

He is survived by his wife, Pamela; nine children; five grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; one brother and numerous other family and friends.

Reflection ceremony will be on Monday, Nov. 26, from 6-8 p.m. and funeral services will be on Tuesday, Nov. 27 at 10:30 a.m., both held at St. Mark Baptist Church, 5722 W. 12th St., Little Rock, Ark. 72204. Arrangements by Mitchell Funeral Home, 1809 Caddo St., Arkadelphia, Ark. 71923, (870) 246-2611. The Body will lie in state at the church for one hour prior to funeral time.

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