Cover photo for Benjamin Arnold Mercado's Obituary
Benjamin Arnold Mercado Profile Photo
1945 Benjamin 2022

Benjamin Arnold Mercado

December 1, 1945 — April 13, 2022

Benjamin Arnold Mercado of Redlands, California passed peacefully from this earth on Wednesday, April 13, 2022. He was 76 years old. Mercado was a lifelong resident of Redlands graduating from Redlands High School in 1963. Go Terriers!

Mercado was drafted into the United States Army enlisting to fight the war in Vietnam in July of 1966. A sky soldier, he was a member of the 173rd Airborne Company, AKA the “Cowboys.” Mercado was a Crew Chief in the 335th helicopter support. On June 22, 1967, Mercado and his company suffered heavy casualties at the Battle of the Slopes in Dak To. Specialist E4 Mercado heroically exposed himself to the intense enemy fire to deliver suppressive fire, enabling members of his platoon to move to a better position, and in the process, he was wounded. The US Army awarded him both a Purple Heart and Army Commendation Medal with “V” device. After recovering from his injuries, he reenlisted, receiving two Purple Hearts for injuries sustained in November of that same year while in combat on the infamous battle of Hill 875. In addition, he was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with Silver Service Star, and numerous others.

Mercado returned to Southern California and married Janet Burgeson. Together they shared three beautiful children, Jeff, Emily, and Mia. Ben was later married to Kathleen Wood. Together they welcomed their beautiful daughter Lauren.

Ben proudly worked at Muscle Mikes Tavern in Redlands for many years where he met the woman he would spend the rest of his life with, Lori Piercey. Ben was then employed by the Redlands Unified School District from which he retired after 23 years of loyal service.

Mercado spent his retirement fishing in Alaska, Utah, and the western US, golfing with his brothers and friends, and loving and caring for his family, especially his mother, daughters, and grandchildren.

Ben was honored to keep close ties with his “brothers” at the Vietnam Cowboys reunions, Vietnam Veterans Association, and golf tournaments benefitting the Semper Fi Fund. He was given a special recognition at the dedication of the U-H1 Huey Helicopter at the Yanks Military Aviation Museum in Chino, California with his name painted on the side.

He was preceded in death by his father Jess B Mercado. He is survived by wife, Lori Piercey, mother Sarah Montes Mercado, brothers Jess Mercado, Hank Mercado, and Gary Mercado, sister Roberta Mercado Parkinson, son Jeff Burgeson, and daughters Emily Tejeda, Mia Mercado and Lauren Simpson. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Amanda, Adrian, Andrew, Eva, Robert, Trent, Trevor, and Hunter, and great grandchildren Anthony, Bradley, and Natalie.

Benjamin lived his life for the gift of each day.

Funeral Services will be held Tuesday May 10, 2022 at 12-noon at Emmerson Bartlett Mortuary, Redlands, CA. Graveside honors will follow at 3:15pm at the Riverside National Cemetery, Riverside, CA.

The family asks that you please consider donating to Ben's airborne chapter in lieu of flowers, in his name.

Make a check out to:
Ch 14 173d Airborne

And send to:
Ch 14 173d ABN
P.O. Box 5482
El Monte, Ca, 91734

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Benjamin Arnold Mercado, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Starts at 12:00 pm (Pacific time)

Emmerson-Bartlett Memorial Chapel - Redlands

703 Brookside Avenue, Redlands, CA 92373

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Starts at 3:15 pm (Pacific time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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