Tony Mercado, longtime Santa Clarita resident and brother of former school board member Gloria Mercado-Fortine, died from health complications this week. He was 70.
Mercado, a retired machinist for Anheuser-Busch, died Thursday after dealing with complication from diabetes and pneumonia, Gloria told The Signal on Saturday.
“He is my older brother and the head of the family now that my parents passed away,” Mercado-Fortine said. “He was raised and lived here in Santa Clarita, he graduated from Hart High school, where he was a part of the wrestling team and managed the baseball team under coach Kentop. He’s part of the history of the valley.”
Mercado was the eldest of six kids, three boys and three girls. While growing up in Santa Clarita, he mentored his siblings, a talent he would take with him to his career.
“He mentored so many of the employees (at Budweiser),” his sister explained. “A great mentor to all of us. We learned the importance of it from him.”
At Anheuser-Busch, Mercado helped see the transition to automation, working with the factory’s new robotics, according to Mercado-Fortine.
After retiring, Mercado wanted to travel to various places. Last year, he traveled to Italy, a place his sister said was one of his favorites to visit.
“He love to go to all these countries, like Italy, he went to Mexico and even Hawaii,” Mercado Fortine said. “He loved to go to these countries and pick up on recipes. He was actually a great cook. He would probably be mad at me if I didn’t mention how great of a ‘barbecuer’ he was.”
Tony Mercado is survived by his wife, Jinae; his three sons, Mark, Carlos and David; and two grandkids.
“He was a great, wonderful big brother,” his sister said, holding back tears, “just caring and anybody that met him knows.”