How did Michael Mercurio’s World War II dog tags end up in a vacuum cleaner 800 miles from Belleville?
That’s the mystery facing some workers at a Colorado car wash, who found the dog tags Sunday in a vacuum canister, according to NBC Channel 9 in the area. The X-press car wash is in Parker, Colorado, off E-470.
The dog tags list Michael Mercurio, married to Elizabeth Mercurio, of 409 Cleveland in Belleville, at the time he served. Legacy.com lists Mercurio’s obituary — he died in 2004 and was buried in Green Mount Cemetery.
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A member of St. Peter’s Cathedral, Mercurio was part of the Moose Lodge 1221, Elks Lodge 481 and Knights of Columbus Council 1028. His obituary refers to his wife as Peggy Mercurio, who died in 1998.
The 16-year-old workers, Matthew Hill and Collin Baker, have tried to reach the Mercurio family in an effort to get the dog tags returned to the family.
“I think it’s real important to get it back to the family,” Collin said. “It might be like the last thing they have of his.”
Obituary for Michael Mercurio Sr.
Michael J. Mercurio Sr., 85, of Belleville, Ill., born July 10, 1918, in Belleville, Ill., died Tuesday, April 27, 2004, at his residence.
Mr. Mercurio was a member of St. Peter’s Cathedral
Catholic Church, Belleville, Ill., the Holy Name Society at Cathedral, Knights of Columbus Council 1028, Belleville, Ill., Belleville/Swansea Moose Lodge 1221 and Belleville Elks Lodge BPOE 481. He was a World War II U.S. Army veteran.
Mr. Mercurio was preceded in death by his wife, Mary E. “Peggy,” nee Eaton, Mercurio, whom he married Nov. 28, 1942, in Belleville, Ill., and who died Dec. 15, 1998; his parents, Michael and Nunzia, nee Tedesco, Mercurio; two brothers, Charles and Samuel Mercurio; and a sister, Edna Degen.
Surviving are two sons, Michael J. (Kathryn) Mercurio Jr. of O’Fallon, Ill., and Robert J. (Susan) Mercurio of Imperial, Mo.; a daughter, Joan M. (Timothy) Simmons of Mesa, Ariz.; eight grandchildren, Christopher Kohenskey, Andrew Fotsch, Timothy Simmons, Joseph (Laurie) Mercurio, Kevin Mercurio, Mary Ann Mercurio, Marcie Mercurio and Gary Duane (Karen) Kohenskey; and nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be made to Cathedral Grade School.
Visitation: There will be no visitation.
Funeral: A funeral Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, April 30, 2004, at St. Peter’s Cathedral Catholic Church, Belleville, Ill., with Monsignor James Buerster officiating. Burial will be in Green Mount Catholic Cemetery, Belleville, Ill.
GEORGE RENNER & SONS FUNERAL HOME, Belleville, Ill.
Published in the Belleville News-Democrat from 4/29/2004 to 4/30/2004.