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J. John MERCADO

Age 92, of St. Paul WWII Marine Corps Veteran Saint Paul Police Retiree Died peacefully in his sleep on January 24, 2014. Preceded in death by his parents John & Sarah; brothers Casper, Margarito (Mike), Boniface, & John; sister Elvira (Vera) Strabala; baby brother & sister Eugene & Helen; in-laws Juan & Ricarda Salas; brothers-in-law & sisters-in- law Peter & Joseph Salas, Jack Oneal, Eleuterio (Mike) & Louise Rodriguez, Anita Wilwert & Peggy, Jeanne, & Marion Mercado; & god-daughter Christina (Mercado) Guindon. Survived by loving wife of 68 years, Mary; son Dale (Irene Diaz); daughter Rosemary (Guy) Peterson; granddaughter Michelle Peterson of Astoria, NY; grandsons John Mercado & special friend Becky Kienitz & Matthew Mercado & special friend Kourtney Lewandowski; and great-grandchildren, Cameron, Adriane, Brooke, & Teagan Mercado of Alexandria, MN. Also survived by sisters Irene (Jack) Stackpole & Alice Oneal; brothers Bob (Joyce) Mercado and Danny Rivera; sisters-in-law Antoinette Mercado and Carmen Davis & brothers-in-law Howard Strabala & Harold Wilwert; godchildren Denise Conlin, Mark Davis, Deborah LaManna, Michael Garcia, Michael Maher, & Debra (Mercado) Wion; & many nephews & nieces; great and great-great nephews and nieces; & many friends. John was born on December 19, 1921 in Spearville, Kansas but grew up in nearby Horton. He attended St. Leo's Catholic Grade School where he excelled in math and was adored by his grandparents, Herculano and Elena Mercado, and Nicolas Lopez. He moved with his parents to St. Paul in 1935. He graduated from Mechanic Arts High School in 1941 where he made many life-long friends. Like most young men, John enjoyed athletics and especially boxing. He was a St. Paul Golden Gloves middleweight champion in 1941. John proudly enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1942 and served in the Pacific Theater as a Corporal fighting at Bougainville, Guam, and Iwo Jima. He received two Purple Hearts for wounds suffered in combat. Upon returning home, he married his sweetheart Mary Salas on May 18, 1945. They made their home and raised their two children on St. Paul's North End and were parishioners at St. Bernard's Church for nearly 70 years. After attending Dunwoody Institute and working briefly as a refrigerator repairman, John took the exam to become a St. Paul Police officer and joined the SPPD on July 6, 1948. He rose through the ranks serving as a patrolman, sergeant, and lieutenant before his retirement in 1983. Because of his strong commitment to his community and the safety of its citizens, John was honored by the SPPD with its highest recognition--the Medal of Valor. Independent in thought and actions, John was civic-minded throughout his life. He campaigned for his friend, Norm Coleman, in his races for mayor, governor and senator. John's support was sought by candidates for city council, county commissioner and the state legislature. He served on the St. Paul Police Retirement Association Board for many years. John was a man's man. He loved baseball, hunting, bowling, softball, cigars, and poker. He was a generous person and could always be counted on to offer a helping hand. He enjoyed being in the company of his family and friends, and was a regular patron of Mancini's restaurant. However, his greatest love was being with his wife and family and in the last years of his life, his greatest joy was dining out with them frequently. When asked how he wanted to be remembered, John's response was, "as a good man and a loyal friend." A special thank you to Ivy Marie who helped care for John in his final days and to the caring 4th floor staff of Cerenity at 514 Humboldt, especially Tracy, Emmanuel, Sherri, Willie, Linda, Lindsey, Melody, Andrew, Charles, Chantel, Abdul, Bianca, Scott, Jessie, Kim and Pam. Mass of Christian Burial Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 10:30 AM GUARDIAN ANGELS CATHOLIC CHURCH, 8260 4th St. N., Oakdale. Visitation beginning at 9:30 AM at church. Interment Fort Snelling National Cemetery. 1078 Rice Street 651-489-1349


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Funeral Home

Bradshaw Funeral Home and Cremation Service
1078 Rice Street St. Paul, MN 55117
(651) 489-1349

Published in Pioneer Press on Jan. 28, 2014
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