Millard Mershon VMD, 85, veterinarian, Army toxicologist, researcher, inventor and pilot

By on August 6, 2014
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Millard M. “Mac” Mershon VMD, 85, of Lititz, went to be with his Lord August 3, 2014.

Mac was born on June 5, 1929, in Springfield Township, Erie County. He was the oldest of the five children of the late Ronald and Georgia (Stanford) Mershon.

Following high school, Mac joined the U.S. Navy. Under the Navy’s V5 program, he attended Allegheny College for two years before going to Pensacola Naval Air Station to attend flight school. After leaving the Navy, he attended Edinboro State College where he completed a Bachelor of Science in Education, Science and Social Studies. He then went on to graduate with honors from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.

Mac practiced veterinary medicine for two years in Western Maryland, a life he and wife Joyce enjoyed comparing to the life described in James Herriot’s book, “All Creatures Great and Small.” He then worked for three years in charge of a veterinary laboratory for the University of Maryland.

He spent the next 33 years working as a toxicologist and pharmacologist for the U.S. Army at Edgewood Arsenal (now Edgewood Area of Aberdeen Proving Ground) in Maryland. During his long and distinguished career he was responsible for countless innovations, inventions, and contributions to the science of chemical warfare defense. His research still provides much of the foundation for protecting our troops against the threats of chemical war. His scientific papers, presentations, book chapters and contributions to the fund of scientific knowledge are extensive and too numerous to list.

After retiring from the civilian work with the Army, Mac did research for Science Application International Corporation on topics such as the impact of the use of the plague germ as a biological warfare agent; he also reviewed and evaluated current research on the treatment of breast and prostate cancers.

Mac was a member of the Lancaster Evangelical Free Church and regularly attended Seed of Abraham fellowship. Prior to moving to Lititz, he had been a long time member of Bel Air United Methodist Church as well as Mount Zion United Methodist Church, also in Bel Air, Md. He loved the Lord Jesus and was enthusiastic about sharing his faith and exploring the Scriptures, particularly as they pertain to the end times and Christ’s return.

Apart from his pride in his family, and passion for Christ, he was most proud of having accomplished two childhood dreams. The first was to fly a plane, which he did while in the U.S. Navy. The second was to be awarded a patent. He achieved this dream when he was awarded a patent for a chemical which dramatically stopped bleeding. He is also identified as the inventor on several other patents held by the Army.

Mac is survived by his wife of 58 years: Joyce (Turner) Mershon, originally of Honesdale. He is also survived by three children: David T. Mershon, husband of Mary Anne, of Havre de Grace, Md.; Charles R. Mershon, husband of Sarah, of Lititz; and Eileen J. Mershon, also of Lititz; two brothers: Homer M. Mershon, husband of Clemence of Conneautville and John B. Mershon, husband of Judy, of Pittsburgh; a sister: Geraldine R. Mershon of Lancaster; four grandchildren: Matthew, Brian, Ruth and Peter Mershon; one great-grandchild: Matthew Mershon Jr.: nieces: Sherie and Claire Helene Mershon: and nephews: Grant and Andre Mershon.

His sister, Helen Mershon, preceded him in death.

Friends and relatives are invited to visit with the family at the Charles Snyder Funeral Home, 3110 Lititz Pike, Lititz, on Friday, Aug. 8 from 6 to 8 p.m.; also on Saturday Aug. 9, from 10 to 11 a.m. A service will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. in the chapel at the same location. Interment will be at Witness Park Cemetery following the funeral service.

Please omit flowers. Memorial gifts can be made to one of the following: Water Street Rescue Mission (210 S. Prince St., PO Box 7267 Lancaster PA, 17604-7267 or online at wsm.org) or The Salvation Army (131 S. Queen St., Lancaster, PA 17603 &tstr; or online at salvationarmylancaster.org)

To place a condolence online, visit SnyderFuneralHome.com. Charles F. Snyder, Jr. Funeral Home & Crematory, Lititz, was entrusted with the arrangements.

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