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Old Saybrook, Vero Beach, Florida
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Mercedes Ann (Picazio) Stanners was born Sept. 14, 1926, the sixth of seven children of Enrico (Harry) and Ada Picazio in Patterson, New Jersey. The Picazios were recent immigrants from Caserta and Senigallia, Italy, and owned and operated a silk mill.
The family moved to Norwich during the Great Depression and eventually to New London. During her childhood, her family owned and operated the Mabry Hotel and managed concessions at Ocean Beach Park. Mercedes met the love of her life, William J. Stanners, while working at New London City National Bank. They were married in 1953. The constant joy of her life was caring for her husband and three sons, Bill, Jr., Don, and Bob. She was a wonderful source of support to her late husband as he climbed the corporate ladder in banking.
They moved to Old Saybrook in 1962. She was a den mother for her sons’ scout groups and an award-winning member of the Old Saybrook Garden Club. She ensured the beauty of the town’s Main Street each summer using wine barrels to display flowers. The flowers were kept well-watered using an innovative hydroponic watering system that she designed. Mercedes was also a member of Black Hall Golf Club and Mile Creek Beach Club in Old Lyme.
Mercedes and Bill relocated to Stuart, Florida in 1987 and enjoyed many years as members of the Mariner Sands Club. She became known as the “Little Flower of Mariner Sands” as a result of her flower designs that decorated the clubhouse for many years.
Mercedes and Bill shared many wonderful years in Stuart entertaining friends and neighbors as well as spending countless hours with their children and grandchildren. Mercedes’ gift to the world was her love of family, friends, and neighbors. She was truly happiest when she was entertaining. Her home was always a source of peace and love to all who knew her.
After her husband’s passing in 2008, Mercedes moved to Indian River Estates West in Vero Beach, Florida. She used her skill and artistry with flower arranging to decorate the main dining room at Indian River Estates for a number of years.
Her unwavering faith and love of God and positive spirit of gratitude provided her with the strength to battle Alzheimer’s over the last 12 years. She was called to heaven on the evening of Jan. 6 and despite the advanced state of her affliction, she went to heaven in an amazing, blessed flash of clarity, love, and joy surrounded by loved ones. She left everyone who knew her with a legacy of mercy, love, and kindness.
She is survived by her sister Letizia (Dolly); sons Bill, Don, and Bob; their spouses Debbie, Elizabeth, and Suzie; grandchildren Desiree, William III, Kevin, Nicole, Matt, Kristine, Caroline, and Peter; and great-grandchild Chloe. She will forever be missed.
A celebration of her life and funeral Mass will take place on Saturday, Jan. 18 at 11:00 a.m. at St. John Catholic Church in Old Saybrook. In lieu of flowers, please perform an act of mercy, love, and kindness in her memory and tell those close to you that you love them.
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