Mary Mercurio, 75, of Saranac Lake, left our physical presence March 6, 2020 for whatever the universe has in store for her next journey. She was surrounded by her daughter, Shannon, and husband, Joe, and left this world with a beauty and grace true to her inner soul.
Mary originally hailed from Camden, South Carolina, where she came of age. She had the warmth and grace of a Southern Belle, the grit of a Steel Magnolia, and a sense of humor that never failed to deliver. Mary was consistently characterized by her many friends as one of the kindest and most thoughtful persons they had ever known. She gave of herself genuinely and lovingly, and did so unconditionally.
Though Mary was born and raised in the South, she spent 45 years of her life as a transplanted Yankee after falling in love with a genuine, true blooded “northerner”. Mary and Joe had a surprise wedding, in their home on Carlton Road in Syracuse, New York during their annual Christmas party. It was there that Mary later completed all the requirements for her Ph.D. in Special Education at Syracuse University, with the exception of her doctoral thesis, in 1980, when she gave birth to Shannon, at which time she proclaimed, “You can’t hug a dissertation,” abandoned her scholarly pursuits, and set to work caring for the daughter that meant everything to her. She subsequently returned to work in her field of Special Education with the Syracuse City School District, serving as Director of Special Education until her retirement.
Mary’s last 20 years were spent as an active member of her beloved Saranac Lake community, where she and Joe had chosen to spend their “golden years”. Mary was devoted to her family, and to her dogs, two of whom — Dixie and Corey — accompanied her as Certified Therapy dogs over the years on numerous visits with patients at the Adirondack Medical Center, and children at Petrova Elementary School. Mary was an active member of the Reviewer’s Club, a Saranac Lake all women’s literary society originating in 1899 and also participated in an extensive spiritual fellowship and recovery program for the past 30 plus years. She was a living example of the precepts of the Twelve Step Alcoholics Anonymous Program and during that time actively participated in a Women’s Way 12 Step Book group, offering guidance, advice and comfort to countless others.
Mary loved the outdoors. She was an accomplished skier, serving 37 years as a volunteer with the National Ski Patrol, paddled her Hornbeck canoe on many of the surrounding lakes and ponds, enjoyed playing golf, and climbed many of our Adirondack High Peak Mountains. One of Mary’s greatest pleasures later in life was sharing time with Hazel, her four year old granddaughter.
Mary is survived by her husband of 42 years, Joe; her daughter, Shannon Mercurio and her husband, Mathew Young, and four year old granddaughter, Hazel Young.
Mary’s family has decided to forego calling hours or a traditional service but plans to have a celebration of Mary’s life at a later date.
Mary was a beautiful person in every sense of the word. She will be missed.