Mrs. Patricia DeJesus (nee Montalvo) Mercurio passed away peacefully on September 26, 2022 at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune Township. She was 66.
Visitation will be at the Prout Funeral Home, 370 Bloomfield Ave., Verona on Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m. A funeral mass will be offered at Our Lady of the Lake Church, Lakeside Ave., Verona on Friday at 1 p.m.
Mrs. Mercurio was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia. She earned a bachelor’s degree in graphic design from the renowned School of Fine Arts in Bogota before immigrating to the United States in 1980 where she lived in Queens. She began her career as a graphic artist with Bamberger’s. She then worked for Bloomingdale’s for several years, rising swiftly to become one of their most talented and respected art directors.
Mrs. Mercurio met her husband, Dante, in September 1992. Their first date included enjoying multiple cups of Colombian coffee at the Oasis Café in Queens followed by shooting a couple of games of pool at the local billiard parlor. The couple married on April 17, 1993 and moved into their Verona home soon after. Their daughter, Gabriela, came along in 1995. Mrs. Mercurio loved her Verona life. This included savoring the beauty of Verona and its neighborhoods. Above all, she enjoyed the warmth and friendliness of her fellow Verona residents. She was so proud to call Verona her home. She was most proud, however, to call herself an American citizen after taking the oath in 2001. She continued her graphics career at Haband in Oakland, N.J. after leaving Bloomingdale’s. However, she would eventually leave the advertising field to work as a teacher aide for special needs Verona middle school students. She derived tremendous satisfaction from this work. Her students and their families, in turn, felt enormous gratitude and love for her.
Mrs. Mercurio was a eucharistic minister with the Our Lady of the Lake parish. Additionally, she volunteered with the New Jersey Special Olympics Area 9-Essex County with her husband for many years. Always a lover of the Jersey shore, Mrs. Mercurio especially enjoyed time with her family on their houseboat in Brick. She also enjoyed growing her own basil, tomatoes, peppers, and “zukes” in her backyard garden.
Mrs. Mercurio was predeceased by her parents, Francisco Antonio Montalvo and Alcira (nee Rodriguez) Montalvo and her younger brother, Jose Bernardo Montalvo. She is survived by her beloved husband, Dante C. Mercurio, and her loving and devoted daughter, Gabriela. She is also survived by her two older siblings, Maria Alcira Rodriguez (Hugo) and Francisco Alberto Montalvo (Guillermina), and sister-in-law Miriam Beltran Montalvo.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the New Jersey Special Olympics Area 9-Essex County would be especially appreciated. Donations may be sent to NJSO Area 9-Essex County, c/o Frank Petrucci, 5 Long Acres Rd, Fairfield, NJ 07004. Condolences may be left at www.proutfuneralhome.com.