Floral 04

Joanne B. Mercurio

June 6, 1929 ~ June 2, 2022 (age 92)

Tribute

There is a little less glitz and sparkle in the world…JoAnne Herman Mercurio left this earth on Thursday, June 2, just a few days before her 93rd birthday.
And she was always destined for the glitz and sparkle. Born in the Bronx to theatrical parents – Irving Herman was a musician and Sally was a showgirl - her early childhood was spent there, until she moved to Miami in the 40s. JoAnne graduated from Miami High and attended the University of Miami, majoring in Drama and Speech, and becoming an actress at The Ring Theater.
While she was attending UM, she met Joseph Mercurio, also at UM majoring in music. They married in 1950, and were together for 46 years, until his passing in 1996.
In 1956, JoAnne was a Female Entrepreneur before there was even a name for it. She and Joe found a niche lacking in Miami and started Star Styled Dancing Supplies on Lejeune Road. Ask any local dancer (or ex-dancer) of a certain age where they were fitted for their first ballet, tap or toe shoes, the answer would be “Star Styled”. To supplement the Shoppe in the early days, they discovered that people were asking about custom costumes, and Joanne discovered her talent as a Costume Designer. Never turning down a job, they made everything from showgirl feathered fans, uniforms for the Miami Playboy Club, and dancing school solo costumes. Making a small line of dancing school recital costumes, she took them around to the local studios and thus, the start of a major company.
JoAnne was a “Super Mom” in the early 50s and 60’s, when her two daughters, Jo-Dee (Giberson) and Donna (Frisco) were growing up, she would design and sew the costumes on her kitchen table. This was at the same time she was raising two children, and working as a professional actress at the Coconut Grove Theater, Studio M, and the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse.
From a kitchen table to a major manufacturing plant, JoAnne, through her designs, talent and hard work, turned Star Styled in to one of the Top Recital Costume and dancewear companies in the United States and worldwide for over 50 years, respected and known throughout the industry for its quality and innovations.
Because of her love for the arts, during the 70s she joined the Miami Ballet Society in support of Thomas Armour’s Miami Ballet. Serving at one point as their President. The Miami Ballet Society at that time was instrumental in introducing and sustaining ballet in the Miami area. Years later, she was then asked to be a founding member of the Miami City Ballet under Edward Villella…literally helping to put down the floors in their original rehearsal rooms on Lincoln Road. She remained a patron of the Company since that time.
A fantastic hostess, her Christmas parties were legendary. So many old friends, neighbors, church buddies, and her “adopted clan” of friends of her daughters, spent Christmas Eve dining sumptuously in a beautifully decorated home, replete with a centerpiece tree in the front bay window, both of which were perfectly, and differently, decorated every year. The 4th of July gatherings were complete with a finale of fireworks…. which were very special to her after her husband’s passing. She said she felt connected to him in the colorful chaos, as he used to be the Master of the Fireworks
She enjoyed the Fall visits to her beloved home in Vermont every year with her husband, until his passing, and then with her daughters and friends. Ever on the go, voraciously reading biographies and history novels, doing crossword puzzles, attending the ballet, enjoying PBS, going antiquing (which she called “junking”) and hosting her “adopted daughters” at every occasion …Mother’s Day, birthdays, Thanksgiving… celebrated by a wonderful meal, great stories, riotous laughter …and an abundance of love. She was a fabulous raconteur with a wonderful, infectious laugh…and she had so many great stories about the people with whom she worked in the theatre.
JoAnne is survived by her daughters, Jo-Dee Giberson and Donna Frisco (Ron), Goddaughter Nicole, and adopted daughters Mitzi, Donna, Laurel, Dee and Cindy.
She will be very much missed by those whom she touched, who knew and loved her.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Miami City Ballet.

To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.


Services

Visitation
Sunday
June 26, 2022

12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Stanfill Funeral Home
10545 South Dixie Hwy.
Pinecrest, FL 33156

Service
Monday
June 27, 2022

12:00 PM to TBD
Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Cemetery
11411 NW 25 Street
Doral, FL 33172

Cemetery

Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Cemetery
11411 NW 25 Street
Doral, FL 33172

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