Mercedes Ann (Rowan) Fusco

Mercedes A. Fusco, 81, Bellemead, died Tuesday morning at The Lutheran Home at Hollidaysburg.

She was born in Altoona, daughter of the late Louis C. and Catherine C. (Schnaubelt) Rowan. She married Donald J. Fusco on June 26, 1954, at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, Altoona, and he preceded her in death on Sept. 5, 1998.

Surviving are four children: Donald J. Jr. and wife, Mary Ann, of Altoona, Carole A. Beckel and husband, Walter, of Hollidaysburg, Mary C. Veranis and husband, Charles, of Durham, Conn., and David J. and wife, Denise, of Warriors Mark; and five siblings: David Rowan of Allentown, Jerry Rowan of Gulfport, Miss., Anthony Rowan of Milwaukee, Wis., Patricia Branic of Bel Air, Md., and Millicent Locke of Crestview, Fla.

She was the proud grandmother of 10 grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

Mercedes was a 1950 graduate of Altoona Catholic High School. After graduation, she worked at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Following her return to Altoona, she passionately volunteered and worked at St. Mark’s Catholic Church, later retiring as a well-respected colleague of the Altoona Hospital medical staff with more than 30 years of service. She was a devout Catholic and a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Bellwood.

Mercedes’ passion was reflected by her skills in painting, sewing, knitting and crocheting. She most recently volunteered her time and skills in quilting at the Central Blair Senior Center, Altoona, making robes and quilts for nursing home residents. She also loved playing pinochle and studied the German language at the center. Mercedes, known by her friends as “Sis” or “Soupie,” was a beloved mother, grandmother and friend.

Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, at Jon C. Russin Funeral Home Inc., Bellwood, where a vigil for the deceased will be held. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Bellwood, the Rev. Donald Boslet as celebrant. Committal will be at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Altoona.

Flowers will be accepted, or the family suggests that contributions in Mercedes’ memory be made to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Bellwood, or McKee Family House, c/o 5001 Baum Blvd., Suite 545, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.