Thomas Mersich served in the Navy from 1951 – 1955 as an Aviation Ordnanceman. Once discharged, he moved to New Jersey and worked for the Curtiss-Wright Corporation, building airplane cockpits and flight simulators. His varied career included a stint as a machinist and toolmaker at the Taprite Corporation in Hackensack. He moved to upstate New York to serve as a groundskeeper for a wealthy gentleman who had a tidy estate on a knoll. And then he moved into milk-testing for a dairy farm, eventually owning his own dairy farm. By 1972, Thomas had sold the farm in New York and moved to Virginia to continue testing milk at farms in Prince William County. He rented a room in Chantilly for $12 a week before purchasing his home in Manassas that he continues to live in today.

Thomas managed to combine his love of art with his last career

Thomas worked for the U.S. Postal Service for twenty years in his final career posting. When the post office was built on Sudley Road in Manassas, Thomas, who is a painter by hobby, painted a mural that still exists in the building today, although the general public can no longer see it. It is now located in the break room.

Thomas has filled his home with paintings that he has created. There are also many done by his Uncle, Saaghy Laszlo, who also was a prolific and talented amateur painter. A painting of Maria Schell, an Austrian-Swiss actress who starred in German Cinema, graces Thomas’ home office. Thomas painted the portrait of Schell from a Life magazine cover. Today, Thomas continues to create art using the computer and scanner.

How Habitat will help

Now in his eighties, Thomas is no longer physically able to accomplish all the maintenance tasks needed at his home. And, with limited retirement income, he welcomes a hand up from Habitat. Habitat will replace two flat roofs and paint the exterior of the home. Interior ceilings in two rooms need to be repaired because they’ve been compromised by water leaks. One of the challenges of the Habitat’s work is to clear two rooms where the ceilings are compromised from water leaks.

How you can help

Habitat’s Home Repair programs, including its Critical Home Repairs for Veterans program, rely on the support of your donations and volunteer time. Your generous donations make it possible for us to purchase the needed materials and tools for repairs. Your volunteer hours help us save money on labor. Please partner with us on this Navy Veteran’s project in Manassas! To give and to volunteer, click the links below.