Obituaries: Sept. 22

A list of recent deaths.

Leila A. Mercado

Leila A. “Taco” Mercado, age 43, of Gurnee, Ill., and formerly of Kenosha, Wisc., died on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2006, after a valiant battle with cancer.

Born in Chicago on Sept. 18, 1963, Leila was a blessing to parents Roger C. and Judy A. (Stormowski) Mercado. What a bundle of dynamite!

It was obvious from early on that Leila was to live a life of unbridled passion for sports. She was the first girl to make the Optimists Boys Little League team; the first girl selected for the Little League All-Star team; and the first girl to hit a home run in a Little League All-Star game.

She attended St. Mark Elementary School and was a 1981 graduate of St. Joseph High School. She achieved her Bachelor of Arts degree in education from St. Norbert College in DePere, Wisc.

Following college, Leila became a physical education teacher at Holy Rosary School and was employed with Precision Erecting. She enjoyed a career in sales with various school fundraising companies and simultaneously managed a coaching career at Carthage College, as well as St. Joe’s, Bradford and Tremper High Schools.

Leila will forever be remembered for her fiercely competitive athletic spirit – having participated throughout Kenosha and Lake Counties in softball, volleyball, cribbage and euchre.

She was honored to receive two distinguished awards from St. Joseph High School. The first was when she was inducted — as an individual — into the St. Joseph Hall of Fame on Oct. 13, 1996, for being an athlete from 1977 to 1981 and a coach from 1985 to 1987.

Leila was honored again on Oct. 23, 2005, as a team member of the 1979 state-champion softball team.

Friends and family will never forget her marvelous sense of humor and the unique ways she looked at life. She enjoyed casino trips, was an intensely dedicated Green Bay Packers fan, and and enjoyed the serenity of fishing.

Moreover, in Leila’s short life, she was able to attain a dream of owning a home in northern Wisconsin. Her cottage, on the Townsend Flowage, contains many memories of her cherished time with family, friends and the inspirational beauty of the surrounding nature.

Left to remember the impact of her life are her parents, Dr. Roger and Judy Mercado, of Marco Island; her sister, Lisa (Denis) Meurgue, also of Marco Island; and two brothers, Philip D. Mercado, M.D., of Los Angeles, CA., and J.R. Mercado, of Fort Myers, FL.

Leila will be greatly missed by her loving nieces and nephews, whom she treated as her own children. They include Margaux, Alexandra, and Emmanuelle.

Funeral Services for Leila will be held Saturday, Sept. 23. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church, 7117 14th Ave. in Kenosha. Friends and relatives are asked to meet at church for the Mass. Private interment will be held.

A visitation for Leila will be held tonight from 5 to 8 at the Piasecki-Althaus Funeral Home, 3720 39th Ave., Kenosha.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider memorial remembrances in Leila’s name to The American Cancer Society, 4575 Via Royale, Ste. 110, Fort Myers, FL 33919; or American Cancer Society, 917 N. Collier Blvd., Marco Island, FL, 34145.

Elaine M. Bertozzi

Elaine M. Bertozzi, 62, of Marco Island, died Sept. 17, 2006, at her home. Formerly from Boston, she had been a Marco resident since 2000.

She was a foster parent for over 30 years in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Arizona and Florida. She is survived by her loving family, including her devoted husband of 37 years, Dr. Richard J. Bertozzi; daughter, Dr. Robin Marie Bertozzi of Phoenix, AZ; son, Brian Bertozzi of Mesa, AZ; sister, Judy DuClos of St. Petersburg, FL; and many loving foster children in four states.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Eugene and Thelma Mentzer, and her sister, Karen Brusca.

A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 23 at the Marco Presbyterian Church, 875 W. Elkcam Circle, Marco Island.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to the Cancer Treatment Research Foundation.1336 Basswood Road, Schaumburg, IL, 60173

© 2006 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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