George Anthony Mercurio

09/09/2010 12:00 AM |

George Anthony Mercurio, age 94, of Aquebogue, formerly of Wasilla, Alaska, died Sept. 3, 2010, at Southampton Hospital after a brief illness.

Born Aug. 22, 1916, in Philadelphia, Pa., he was the son of Joseph and Josephine Mercurio.

George was a master carpenter and cabinetmaker, an avid hunter and fisherman and an accomplished pilot. After learning the craft from his father, he operated his own furniture refinishing and upholstery business in East Quogue before moving to Alaska in 1969 to work for the Alaskan State Housing Authority as a construction supervisor in remote Indian villages. He remained in Alaska until 2009, when he returned to Long Island to live with his daughter Joy in Aquebogue.

George enlisted in the 103rd National Guard Cavalry in Philadelphia in 1935 and transferred to the Air National Guard in 1937 when the Cavalry was mechanized. He was honorably discharged in 1938.

Flying was his great love. He did antisubmarine reconnaissance over Long Island as a Civil Air Patrol pilot stationed at Westhampton Beach during World War II and later served in the U. S. Air Force. While in Alaska, he owned his own plane, flew bush missions out of the small villages and continued to fly well into his 80s.

He was predeceased by four brothers, three sisters and his former wife, Joyce Burton, who died in 2008.

He is survived by five children: George Allen Mercurio, Terez (Therese) Limer, Diane Koval, Nicholas Mercurio and Joy Regula; five grandchildren: Kelli Regula, Rory and Tanya Koval, and Kira and Britt Limer; two sisters: Janet Fulvio and Josephine Wellman; and many nieces and nephews.

In accordance with his wishes, he was cremated. A private memorial service in his honor will be held at Shinnecock Inlet, where he loved to fish. His ashes will be interred in Philadelphia in the Mercurio family plot.