Joan Mercado, who had worked in the hospitality and travel industries, died last Thursday at 74 in Conroe, Tex., where she was visiting her son, George Mercado, and his family. Her family said she had been in poor health, but her death was unexpected.
Ms. Mercado lived in Montauk in the 1980s, where she worked as an administrative assistant to Nick Monte of Gurney’s Inn. For a number of years, she also owned a coffee shop at the Atlantic Terrace, a Montauk motel. For the last 10 years, she was a resident of Windmill Village II in East Hampton, where she made many friends. She had been a partner in Springs Travel with her daughter, Jacqui Candemir, before she retired.
She was born Juana Santiago to John and Martha Fischetti Santiago on July 27, 1938, in Brooklyn, where she attended Prospect Heights High School, a school for girls. She and her husband, George Mercado, with whom she had two children, moved to Puerto Rico in the early 1960s. There, she became the first female manager of Palmas Del Mar Resort in Humacao. She returned to the United States in 1981.
According to her family, Ms. Mercado’s four grandchildren were her greatest joy in life, and she was looking forward to the birth of her first great-granddaughter in April.
Visiting hours were held at the Yardley and Pino Funeral Home in East Hampton on New Year’s Day, and a Mass was said for her at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church in East Hampton yesterday morning. Burial followed in the church cemetery.
Ms. Candemir said donations in her mother’s memory would be appropriate to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, a charity close to her heart. The address is 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, Tenn. 38105.