Merle “Bea” L. Cerda taught her son to follow his passion in life.
“She was very supportive of me and my work,” son David Cerda said.
Bea Cerda, nee Vicari, 73, of Hammond, enjoyed rock and doo-wop music and dancing. She shared her love of the Beatles with her late son Michael.
“She and my uncle won a dance contest when they were younger on some local television show,” David Cerda said.
Married to her husband Robert, who survives, for 50 years, the couple met at a club in an area known as “The Harbor” in East Chicago, David Cerda said. The Cerdas raised four children.
“They liked to socialize with family and friends,” David Cerda said. “They both worked hard to support us kids so, I think their likes took a back seat to us kids.”
Bea Cerda loved to cook and was great at it, her son said.
“My father was Mexican American so, with her Sicilian heritage, it was a very spicy household,” David Cerda said. “She also took great pride in decorating her home and was meticulous about it. To this day, I cannot place a glass on a table without a coaster.”
Bea Cerda worked at St. Margaret's Hospital in Hammond for 30 years as a nurses’ aide.
“She worked to help support the family,” David Cerda said. “I think she liked helping people and was good at it but the job itself was pretty tough to love. I never really knew how difficult that type of work was until I got older but she did what she had to do for her kids. I think it's a testament to her that co-workers and supervisors attended her memorial.”