AUBURN, Mass. - Mentor N. Kerxhalli, 89, of Auburn, formerly of South Natick, died after a brief illness, surrounded by his family and friends, on Sept. 27, 2012. He was predeceased by his father and mother, Tanas and Olga (Laska) Kerxhalli, his wife Theone (Gotsis) Kerxhalli, his brothers Kastrioti and Michael, and a sister, Lily.
Mentor is survived by his loving partner, Claire Halvey, his sister, Resha Chekani of Worcester, his brother and sister-in-law Duke and Helen Kerxhalli of Holden, his brother Steven Kerxhalli of Shrewsbury, and his brother and sister-in-law George and Teuta Kerxhalli of Worcester. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews, all of whom count themselves extremely lucky to have had such an extraordinary uncle.
Mentor was born in Pogradeç, Albania, and emigrated to the U.S. in 1923 via Ellis Island. During the 1940s he served in the Army Reserves before being called to active duty. He was a man of progressive ideals who worked in both the Civil Rights and Women's Rights movements in the 1950s and 1960s, and a staunch supporter of the labor movement, working passionately as a union organizer. He retired from Millipore Corporation as a quality control inspector in 1988.
An excellent dancer, an avid Scrabble and Cribbage player, he was also a great storyteller, with a tremendous store of historical and political knowledge. He delighted in traveling and the opportunity it offered to discover other cultures. His own Albanian heritage held first place in his heart, though, and he loyally supported Albanian church and cultural organizations. His energy and joy in argument enlivened many a gathering, his pride and delight in his family came out in a sunbeam of a smile, and his quiet generosity was simply "Mentor's way."
A memorial service will be held Wednesday, Oct. 3, at Caswell-King Funeral Home, 474 Grove Street, Worcester, MA 01605. Visiting Hours are 9 to 11 a.m. at the funeral home with a religious service at 11 a.m. Burial will be at Hope Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to "Vetetma", a women's group of The Albanian Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, 37 Washington St., Natick, MA 01760-3547 or Saint Mary's Assumption Orthodox Church, 535 Salisbury St., Worcester, MA 01609.