My father, my hero, my mentor, Nicholas Mercadante, passed away Saturday morning at the age of 83. He had bravely raged against bladder cancer for the past two years, and fought over the past week until his last breath. I already miss him like crazy, and I love him very much. He will live on through my mom, and the 5 children and fourteen grandchildren he leaves behind.
God, how he loved Notre Dame football. He was born in 1929, when ND went 8-0 and won the National Championship. Last week, he was admitted to the hospital on the morning after ND beat USC and sealed an undefeated regular season.
His greatest achievement was the family he built, but look at some of the successes he had:
In 1949, armed with an Engineering Degree from the University of Notre Dame, Nicholas began a very successful career that spanned more than a half-century and included stints in the sewing machine, defense and aerospace industries.
In the 1960's, while at Honeywell, he worked on, and has a patent for, elements of the control system used on the Apollo Lunar Landing Module. His work is literally on the moon.
In the 1970s, Nicholas led the Elizabeth, NJ-based Singer Sewing Machine Company team that introduce the first digital sewing machine.
In the 1990's, while at Illinois Tool Works in Chicago, IL, Nicholas worked on the team that launched the Boeing 777 airliner.
We love you, Dad. You were a great man and heaven is lucky to have you. I'm sure dad will be "waking up the echoes" in heaven and watching the National Championship game closely.
My dad was a volunteer for Naperville Cares, which provides emergency financial assistance to local families in need. He has asked that donations be made to this great organization (www.NapervilleCares.org).
Visitation will be from 3 to 9 PM Sunday, December 2 and the funeral Monday, December 3, 2012 9:15AM at the Bolingbrook-McCauley Funeral Chapel & Crematorium 530 W. Boughton Rd. (1 mi. West of Rt. 53, at Schmidt Rd.) Bolingbrook to St. Margaret Mary Church Mass 10 A.M. Interment at Assumption Cemetery in Winfield, IL.
Curt Mercadante is a longtime Illinois conservative activist, a principal of Merc Strategies and founder of Illinois Homeschool PAC. Our condolences to the Mercadante Family on their loss.