Homer Merch | Obituaries | The Tribune of Meadville

January 21, 1931
January 28, 2022

Originally from County Crawford, Homer Malcolm Mershon, born January 21, 1931, has always looked to horizons beyond his agrarian roots. The local two-room schoolhouse in Dicksonburg gave her plenty of opportunities to explore geography and math, as well as learn and teach other students more fluidly than at a conventional school.
This duality of learning and teaching shaped the trajectory of Homer’s life, providing him with surprising opportunities. From Conneaut Valley High School and Erie Business College, to the Bulgarian program at the Army Language School, and a bachelor’s degree in foreign service from Georgetown University in 1958, Homer continually explored new disciplines, including physics. and quantum mechanics. He studied linguistic transcription at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, and acquired skills in Russian at two universities in Paris where trilingual professors helped him discover his theory of language: “the centrality of the core of the circle of ‘where language shines’.
Shortly after returning to the United States in 1962, Homer was seriously injured in a car accident. He recovered to teach French and Russian at Linesville High School from 1963-65. When he enrolled at Edinboro State College for summer studies, the College asked him to teach French language and culture.
During his 35-year career at Edinboro, Homer constantly expanded his education. He received a master’s degree in French language and literature from UMass and won a National Defense Education Act language scholarship to Rice University. His Russian certificate from Leningrad University in 1985 helped him revitalize Edinboro’s Russian curriculum. The highlight of his 1988-89 sabbatical year was performing during his family’s month-long peace march through the USSR and Ukraine with 500 English-speaking and Soviet people of various ages. Almost every semester from 1990 to 2000, he rewrote new language teaching ideas in his French and Russian course guides. Students remember him as an easy-going tutor and mentor with a “punny” sense of humor and a murder mystery in his pocket.
Homer enjoyed 21 successful years after retirement, during which he read, wrote, and spoke about language production and language acquisition. Drawn to history, he found the Mershon genealogy fascinating. Homer fulfilled his travel dreams by visiting his son in Mali, sailing along the Egyptian Nile, and serving as a guide and interpreter for a friend on the Trans-Siberian Railway from Mongolia to Moscow. He celebrated his 80th birthday by visiting northern China, practicing the Chinese he had learned in Edinboro. Particularly proud of his poultry, vegetables and flowers, Homer continued to garden and farm full time, even though cancer slowed him down. He thanked Dr. Pasricha and the Barco Center staff for their care. On January 28, 2022, he slipped away peacefully at home.
Homer is survived by Clémence Ravaçon Mershon, his language collaborator wife of 46 years, their son André Mershon (Kristin O’Planick) and their grandchildren Alexander and Vivienne Mershon, and their daughter Claire-Hélène Mershon (Paul Hibbert). Other survivors include sisters-in-law Joyce Mershon and Judy Mershon, numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
He was survived by his parents Ronald and Georgia Stanford Mershon and his siblings Millard, Geraldine, Helen, John. Homer’s life will be celebrated later, as always the teacher, his body resides at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. Memorial donations may be made to the Student Hardship Fund, Edinboro University Advancement Office, 210 Meadville St., Edinboro, PA 16444
Arrangements are in the care of MCCAULEY FUNERAL HOME, 1405 Main St. Conneautville, PA 16406.
Online condolences can be left for the family at www.mccauleyfuneralhome.net

Published on February 18, 2022

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