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Lois Mercado

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution announces with great sorrow the death of former employee Lois Mercado of Appleton, WI, on January 9, 2023.  She was 92.

Lois was born in San Pedro, California. Due to the work of her father, a career chief petty officer in the US Navy, in her youth, she lived in the Philippines, China, and Hawaii. The family was stationed at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked on December 7, 1941.

Lois served as a dental technician in the US Navy during the Korean War. She was the first WAVE to enlist in Utah in the Navy’s new program that permitted women to enlist in the regular Navy. Previously women were permitted active duty only from reserve status.

Following her military service, she graduated from Glendale College in California with a degree in zoology. She worked at Oregon State University in the rat laboratory involved in research for the National Institutes of Health to determine the safety of food sterilized with radiation.

Lois began her career at WHOI in 1966 as a lab assistant in the Geology Department working with J. Hulsemann. In 1973, she was promoted to senior research assistant. She left WHOI in 1982. Lois participated in many scientific research cruises, including along the Amazon and Nile rivers. She also lived on Martha’s Vineyard, where she was a founding member of the Martha’s Vineyard Natural History Society.

She was a volunteer at Falmouth Family Planning; and, in Wisconsin, at Eastshore Humane Association and the Appleton VA. She taught CPR and First Aid and provided volunteer income tax assistance for the elderly. During her lifetime she donated 34 gallons of blood.

Lois was a lifelong learner. An avid reader, she attended lectures and classes on a range of subjects. She enjoyed gardening, fine cooking, oil painting, sewing, quilting, and knitting. She often traveled and took road trips with her granddaughter and great-granddaughter.

She leaves her daughters in northeastern Wisconsin.

Information for this obituary is from the Falmouth Enterprise