Dear Chaffey Family,

I am sorry to inform you that Jack Mercer, our retired band director from Chaffey High School, passed away in his sleep last night, August 26, 2014. Jack has been struggling with recent heart problems and was awaiting a pacemaker operation. He made a tremendous local impact serving as the CHS Band Director from 1958 until his retirement in 1985. Under his direction, the Chaffey High School Marching Tiger Band and attached units, composed of over 300 students, became well known and performed in many high profile venues including the 1966 Pro Bowl played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. He created the prestigious Chaffey Tournament of Bands, which continues to draw top bands to Ontario every year. Upon his retirement, Jack formed the inaugural Chaffey Alumni Band, now known as the Ontario-Chaffey Community Show Band, and performs frequent concerts, free of charge, to the community in historic Gardiner W. Spring Auditorium. He passed the baton and leadership of the Community Show Band last June.

Music and family, including his dedication to the Chaffey family, were his lifelong passions. The instrumental music building at Chaffey High School is officially named Mercer Music Hall in his honor and Jack claimed that was his greatest personal honor. A portrait bust of Jack Mercer, by noted sculptor and 1962 CHS graduate Pam de la Roche Murphy, is proudly on display at the Chaffey Community Museum of Art.

Many friends and family will miss Jack, including Dr. Jane Mercer, his wife of many years and a longtime community supporter. We will keep you informed as memorial services are finalized, but in the meantime we appreciate if you would keep Jack and his family in your thoughts and prayers.


Mathew Holton
Chaffey Joint Union High School District

Click here to read Jack's obituary in the Inland Daily Bulletin