Frances Mercurio

January 8, 1925February 9, 2019

Frances (Torpea) Mercurio January 8, 1925 to February 9, 2019

Frances (Torpea) Mercurio was one of ten children (5 boys and 5 girls) born to her Italian parents, Anna (Mutolo) and Nicholas Torpea who came to America in 1923. All of her five older siblings and her parents were born in Italy. Frances and her younger siblings were born in this country. She grew up in the Italian community at 20th and Cass in St. Louis, MO. She was married to Pete Mercurio, who was born January 17, 1925, for 49 years from 1948 until his death on April 26, 1997. Pete grew up in the same neighborhood as Fran and knew her when she was young but they didn’t start dating until they were older. Pete was an Industrial Arts teacher for forty years and department chairman, primarily at Cleveland High School in St. Louis (which 3 of their children attended) and then at Bishop Dubourg High School in St. Louis (which their youngest child attended). Fran loved to brag that Pete was the “Teacher of the Year for the State of Missouri.” He also served in the Navy during WWII and was stationed overseas. The ten Torpea children are Frank Torpea, Vince Torpea, Mary Kus, Ann Byington, infant Nick Torpea, Fran, Eva Ahlheim, Nick Torpea Jr, Marie Murphy and Sam Torpea. She has one surviving sibling, her younger sister, Marie, and a surviving sister-in-law, Kathy Torpea. Fran has four children: a son, Jerry Mercurio (Mary) and three daughters - Patty Raster (deceased)(Rick, deceased), JoAnn Brendel (Jerry) and Susan Callahan (Doug); seven grandchildren (Jerry Mercurio II (Becky), Chris Mercurio (Holly), Lisa Woolley (Jason), Jason Brendel, Lauren Raster, Sean Callahan and Megan Callahan; six great grandchildren (Aniyah, Lucas, Jacob, Isabella, Logan and Jason Jr); and many nieces and nephews. Fran worked during Pete’s college years to help pay his expenses but was primarily a housewife and mother for most of her married life. They lived most of their married life on Oregon Avenue in South St. Louis before moving next door to their daughter JoAnn where Pete lived for two years until his death and Fran has lived for the past 24 years.

Fran was a dedicated matriarch of her family, and a loving and caring individual who in turn was loved by many others. Many children, besides her own children and grandchildren, affectionately called her Mom or Grandma. Despite being short, she was feisty and would jokingly shake her fist at those her teased her. She also liked to ask taller persons to give her some of their height. She said all babies were beautiful and would go up and talk to total strangers, especially those with children, who almost always talked to her. When riding in a car, she would wave to those who passed by who again almost always waved back.

A devout Catholic and member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in St. Louis, she faithfully read her Bible for at least an hour every night and then prayed the Rosary several times. She would make the Sign of the Cross every time we drove by a church, no matter what denomination it was. She loved to dance and liked to tell you she was a Jitterbug champion and could out Jitterbug you. Even up to her last few months, she would get up and dance to the Alan Jackson song “Mercury Blues” and later on when she didn’t walk anymore, she would tap her foot when she heard the song. She will be missed but we know she is in a better place now, probably showing them all how to Jitterbug.


  • Anna Torpea (nee Mutolo) (Deceased), Mother
  • Nicholas Torpea (Deceased), Father
  • Pete Mercurio (Deceased), Husband
  • Jerry (Mary) Mercurio, Son
  • Patty (Rick) Raster (Deceased), Daughter
  • JoAnn (Jerry) Brendel, Daughter
  • Susan (Doug) Callahan, Daughter
  • Jerry (Becky) Mercurio II, Grandson
  • Chris (Holly) Mercurio, Grandson
  • Lisa (Jason) Woolley, Granddaughter
  • Jason Brendel, Grandson
  • Lauren Raster, Granddaughter
  • Sean Callahan, Grandson
  • Megan Callahan, Granddaughter
  • Marie Murphy, Sister
  • Kathy Torpea, Sister-in-law
  • Frank Torpea (Deceased), Brother
  • Vince Torpea (Deceased), Brother
  • Mary Kus (Deceased), Sister
  • Ann Byington (Deceased), Sister
  • Infant Nick Torpea (Deceased), Brother
  • Eva Ahlheim (Deceased), Sister
  • Nick Torpea Jr. (Deceased), Brother
  • Sam Torpea (Deceased), Brother
  • Great grandmother of Aniyah, Lucas, Jacob, Isabella, Logan and Jason, Jr. Our dear aunt and friend.


  • Visitation Thursday, February 14, 2019
  • Funeral Service Friday, February 15, 2019
  • Commital Service-Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery Friday, February 15, 2019

Frances Mercurio

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Maria Shirley

February 11, 2019

Aunt Fran was the best. Loved her so much, my kids always referred to her as the little one.