Roberto Z. Mercado, 82, died from AlzheimerÕs related complications Sept. 15 in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. Born June 27, 1924, to Sotero and Consuelo Mercado in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, Mercado was a master's graduate in electrical engineering from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez. Following 36 years of public service as an engineer with the U.S. Departments of the Army and Navy, Mercado was ordained as a minister by the Southern Baptist Convention in recognition of his selfless and effective lay ministry within the Hispanic community in the Route 1 corridor in Alexandria.
As a lay leader, Mercado was involved in planting three different Christian congregations. The current pastor at one such church, the Disciples of Christ Church in Santa Juanita, Puerto Rico, offered prayers of consolation for the family at his memorial and burial services. Another of the churches, the Groveton Hispanic Baptist Church in Alexandria will be celebrating its 28th anniversary during the weekend of Sept. 24.
A memorial service in his honor will be hosted by his family at Groveton Baptist Church, 6511 Richmond Highway, Alexandria, at 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 30. Mercado is survived by his wife of 45 years, Aida, and his six children: Ivan Mercado of Fayetteville, N.C., Oscar Mercado Marichal of Guaynabo, P.R., David Mercado of Fairfax, Marcos Mercado of Douglasville, Ga., Aida Hernandez of Fredericksburg and Humberto (Tito) Mercado of Ashburn, Va.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in honor of Roberto Z. Mercado to the AlzheimerÕs Association or a charity of your choice.