VALE DEAN MERCER 1969-2017
Kurrawa Surf Life Saving Club is deeply saddened by the loss of Dean Mercer, a beloved individual and integral figure around the Club, who died unexpectedly of a heart attack Monday morning on his way home from training.
All of our members’ immediate thoughts are presently with Dean’s wife Reen and children Brayden, Rory, Lachlan and Joshua, who are all part of our very tight and close-knit “Kurrawa Family.”
Those that trained daily with Dean are still in shock at the sudden loss and the widespread impact of the news is still sinking in for many people way beyond Kurrawa and throughout the Surf Life Saving community.
An emotional Club President Michael McSweeney has been lost for words since the news broke and when asked his thoughts simply said “A loyal friend, a champion person and dedicated family man.”
“Not only was Dean a passionate Surf Life Saving Club Board Member but he delivered enormous value to everyone from the youngest Green Cap to the oldest Masters competitor,” McSweeney added.
Dean had spent time as a Nippers Coach and with four children all actively learning the ropes here, the Mercers were a big part of any given Sunday morning.
With a feeling of deep sadness, Nipper’s President John Hussey reflected on the loss.
“Dean’s commitment to the Kurrawa Nippers was immeasurable. He was a coach, a mentor to our junior members and a friend of the parents. He brought a sense of energy and spirit to our Club mixed with goodwill and cheekiness. His leaving is such a tragedy for our group and will leave behind a strong legacy. If there is one consolation it is that we were the lucky ones to have Dean as part of our Nipper group.”
In his current role as Surf Sports Director, Dean’s commitment to driving our athletes to achieve their very best was clear to see.
The coaching staff worked closely together and Head Water Coach Barry Newman recalls Dean’s attitude at training.
“He just expected total commitment and I figure that anyone that could put their body through a Cooly Gold at 40 and finish in the placing’s, must demand respect.
What do you say, Deano… An angry ant who’s commitment to training virtually boarded on madness and who’s passion never waivered,” Newman added.
During his illustrious career Dean’s many highlights included winning two Australian Ironman titles (the last of those on our beach in 1995), five NSW championships, two Test of the Toughest titles and the 1997 World Oceanman series.
Dean represented both NSW and Queensland throughout his career, as well as pulling on the Green and Gold for Australia.
He mounted multiple attempts on the Coolangatta Gold, finishing third to brother Darren in 1992, third to Zane Holmes in 2006 and second to Caine Eckstein in 2009.
As the tributes flowed from many past Champion Ironmen and Women, our own current Nutri-Grain Champion Matt Poole was forever in awe of Dean’s drive to be the best he could be.
“I was fortunate enough to train and race alongside Dean at Mooloolaba and still to this day I’m yet to see anyone as passionate and determined in their work ethic with the way they trained and raced – it was inspiring to watch,” Poole said.
The Club held a Peer Support session on Tuesday afternoon and will continue to offer assistance as the Club moves forward.
Peer Support Officers will assist in developing coping strategies and understanding the impact of this tragedy on your lives. Local Gold Coast Peer Support Officers are available for contact as follows:
Marcia Fife – 0412 831 584 Grahame Long – 0419 713 705 Once again please look out for each other!
A Go Fund Me page has been established to help support the Mercer Family at this time of need and you can donate by clicking the link below.
The club will communicate in the coming days the family’s wishes and further information regarding service details.