Mercedes H. Quevedo, 85, died December 16 from complications of COVID-19. Born the daughter of the late Wheaton H. and Marie L. (Masson) Hutchinson, Merce was singular in her warmth, integrity, intelligence, humor, wit, loyalty and generosity.
She attended Lincoln School in Providence and Pembroke College (Brown University) before graduating from the University of Chicago. She taught in Naperville, Illinois, and Springville, New York, and then returned to Providence, where she began teaching at The Gordon School; her husband, Walter Quevedo, taught in the Department of Biology and Medicine at Brown University until he retired in 2002. Connections to the university threaded through their lives, as Merce often taught the children of Brown faculty or with Brown alumni, and even when she moved into Medway Place, shared with many residents their histories in the fields that intersected education in Providence. Walter and Merce had been married for fifty-five years when he died in 2010.
Merce is survived by hundreds of students from The Gordon School, whose lives she influenced. She began when the school was on Angell Street in Providence and then moved with the school to East Providence where she taught until 1997. She was an expert classroom teacher, a tireless advocate for her students, whose best interests she made clear were her guide. She enhanced those skills by commuting to the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute to become a reading specialist, certified to tutor using the Orton-Gillingham method.
Her connection to students, colleagues, and network of friends defined her family. She was a self-deprecating chronicler and narrator of those relationships in their loving and often ironic detail. She read widely, entertained with excellent conversation and food, loved theater and opera, tracked politics and worked the Sunday New York Times crossword.
At heart, Merce was motivated her entire life by an unwavering commitment to social justice and fairness. She was unsentimental in her values and practical in any action taken; she was both decisive and open. She responded to causes and friends alike with the generosity of long and unconditional support. In her last years, in spite of challenges, and in character with a life well lived, Merce maintained her independence and communal spirit.
Her funeral and burial will be private. A memorial service will be scheduled in the future. For Guest Book, please visit www.bellowsfuneralchapel.com. Arrangements entrusted with Bellows Funeral Chapel, 160 River Road, Lincoln.
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