Mercedes Starr, a teacher who emigrated from Cuba in 1966, passed away from non-Coronavirus illness at the age of 90. Her husband Edwin Starr died in 1989.
Mercedes was a loving family-oriented person who, among many other acts of kindness, helped raise two of her nieces: Dr. Theresa Aquino, an interventional radiologist, and Maite Aquino, a corporate lawyer. Both nieces thought of her as a second mother.
Mercedes was passionate about education since she was very young. Beginning at age 13 she spent her summer vacations helping underprivileged neighborhood children improve their reading, writing and math skills. She reserved a room in the house for teaching which she called “La Escuelita” (The Little School). She was very proud of her origins as an educator and remembered former pupils with very deep affection. During Cuba’s literacy campaign of 1961 she distinguished herself as a volunteer working to eradicate illiteracy among rural adults.
Mercedes came from a large family of five sisters and four brothers. Her parents emigrated to Cuba from Spain. She’s survived by two sisters and three brothers: Iris Pardinas, Raquel Aquino, Raul Pardinas, Carlos Pardinas, and Dr. Jose Pardinas. Three of her siblings, Roberto, Olga, and Theresa, as well as her brother-in-law, Dr. Armando Aquino, had recently passed away. She’s survived by her sister-in-law, Nidia Pardinas, and by ten nieces: Dr. Theresa Aquino, Angela Pardinas, Olietis Mon-Vega, Dania and Dalia Thope, Yamilet and Janet Fuentes, Odalis Pardinas, Elizabeth Martinez, and Maribel Pardinas. She’s also survived by five nephews: Raul Pardinas, Jr., Bobby and David Pardinas, Manuel Martinez, and Robert Pardinas. Mercedes was a regular parishioner at St. Christopher’s Church.
Funeral services will be held at Colonial Funeral Home on Monday 11, 2020 starting at 9:30 AM followed by burial at Resurrection Cemetery at 12 Noon on the same day.