March 22, 1925 - March 26, 2004
March 22, 1925 - March 26, 2004
William Salvatore Mercuri, Senior Judge, in Marion County, passed away March 26, 2004, four days after his 79th birthday in Reno, NV. Judge Mercuri, an avid skier, had just completed a skiing vacation on Heavenly Mountain in Lake Tahoe, NV. Just before flying back to Indianapolis, Judge Mercuri fell ill and was transported to St. Mary's Hospital in Reno, NV. At St. Mary's he underwent surgery for a dissecting aorta and while recuperating from this surgery, his heart stopped.
Judge Mercuri was born on March 22, 1925, in Albany, New York. He was one of five brothers who served in World War II. During the war, he was an ambulance driver in the European theater and in 1946 he received an honorable discharge as Private First Class.
Mr. Mercuri settled in
Indianapolis, IN after World War II. He received a B.A. in History from Butler University in 1949 and he graduated from Indiana University School of Law in 1952. For the next 52 years, he spent his time keeping up with his wife, Gertrude, and their six children, as well as devoting much energy and enthusiasm to the criminal justice community in downtown Indianapolis.
Before he was appointed judge in 1981, Mr. Mercuri was on the Marion County Prosecutor's staff from 1953-58. He then went into private practice as a criminal attorney. He was appointed Chief Trial Deputy Prosecutor for Marion County in 1963. In 1967, he successfully ran for and was elected to the Marion County Assessor's office on the Republican ticket and served as assessor in this office for eight years until 1974. From 1978 until 1980, Mr. Mercuri was appointed head of the Criminal Justice Agency for the State of Indiana.
Perhaps most prolifically, Mr. Mercuri will be known for his service as judge in the criminal courts. In 1981, Mr. Mercuri was appointed Marion County Judge by the Governor of Indiana. He was reappointed to this position every four years thereafter by the Office of the Governor until March 2000, when he retired due to mandatory age requirement. After retirement, Judge Mercuri was then appointed Senior Judge until his death in March 2004. Since his retirement, Judge Mercuri kept very active skiing, dancing, golfing, and living his life to the fullest.
In nearly every office he held and every organization he joined, Judge Mercuri was always very active. He was president of the legal fraternity in Law School, Phi Delta Phi, 1951-52; president of the Indiana County of Assessor's Association, 1969; member and on the Board of Directors of the Association of Indiana Counties, 1969-72; member of International Association of Assessing Officials; served as Legislative Chairman for County Assessors, 1969-72; member of the Indiana and American Judges Assoc.'s; member of the Indianapolis Bar Assoc; former member of American Bar Association and Indiana Bar Association; member of the St. Matthew's Men's Club, 1970-71; Officer and Member of the Board of Directors of St. Alban's Little League, 1966-68; and a member of St. Matthew's Catholic Church since 1963.
The Indianapolis Italian-American Association honored Judge Mercure on several occasions and most notably the distinguished honor of the Sagamore of the Wabash was given to Judge Mercuri in 1980 by Governor Bowen and in 2000 by Governor O'Bannon.
Judge Mercuri was very active in the Republican party where he developed many wonderful friendships throughout the years. Actually, it could be well stated that Judge Mercuri developed friendships throughout the entire state of Indiana. Judge Mercuri is certainly one public figure who will truly be missed by everyone he came in contact with.
Survivors include children: William A., Michael D. (wife-Andrea), Carol A., Thomas E. (wife-Valerie), Cindy L. Calderon (husband-Jose), Robert J. (wife-Angela); grandchildren: Gabriel, Luke, Logan, and Max. As well as Rob Robinson and Bridget Starr, friends of the family.
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