Jack Stevens |
Mercadal, 92, took his last breath on August 21, 2014. Born in New Orleans to Gertrude Jones Mercadal and Howard Raphael Mercadal. He was a graduate of Louisiana State University and served in the Air Force during World War II.
Jack married Patricia Villee, the love of his life, 73 years ago when they were 19 and 16. A favorite family photo shows them strolling down Canal Street, looking like movie stars. They raised and loved three children, Linda, Steve and Jay.
Jack was a consummate salesman, selling life insurance and then pharmaceuticals. In his fifties, he and Pat sold their home and lived on a 38 foot sailboat. They sailed all over the Gulf and to the Bahamas, flying the kids out to join them. When they became landlubbers again years later, Jack put on the only polyester sport coat he had and somehow convinced Norton Ditto to hire him to sell fine menswear. He was one of their best salesmen, with many famous clients, and acquired tailored suits to replace the polyester jacket.
Jack was known for his sweet tooth but had a sweeter heart. He loved to spread joy, whether playing shark as the kids dunked him or taking them on emergency runs to the 7-11 for survival candy or feeding the grandchildren cake and ice cream for breakfast. Their joy was his. Their Halloween candy was also his, unless hidden from him. His sense of humor was indomitable, still evident in the hospital (he hated hospitals but loved the nurses).
We thank the staff at St. Luke's Hospital, Garden Terrace and Vantage Hospice for their extraordinary care during Daddy's illness. You made sad days easier.
We thank loving neighbors Claire and Mark Pelletier and their children, especially Katie; Wayne and Cheryl Kirk, and Merrill and Gladys ONeal for their kindness and support. You made Daddy's last years brighter.
Left behind to remember him fondly are wife Pat, daughter Linda Upchurch (Ron), sons Steve Mercadal (Dona) and Jay Mercadal (Barbara), "adopted" daughter Tinker Payne (Andy), grandchildren Brad Mercadal (Rachel), Kelly Leeker (David), Michael Mercadal (Lauren) and great-granddaughter Abigail.
The family will have a private memorial at a later date. If you wish to honor Jack with a remembrance, please donate to
or have a bowl of Blue Bell ice cream and lift your spoon in his memory.
Published in Houston Chronicle on Aug. 27, 2014