Monica F. Merchand ROUSES POINT, N.Y. — Monica Flanagan Merchand, 68, of Rouses Point, New York, passed away on March 20, 2021, surrounded by her loving family. Monica is survived by her husband of 45 years, Joseph G. Merchand of Rouses Point; son, Daniel R. Merchand (Angie) and grandsons Aaron and Zachary of Vermont; and daughter, Leah C. Moakley (Patrick) and grandsons Jack and Samuel of Virginia. Monica is also survived by her mother, Moira F. Flanagan of Rutland, Vermont; brother, Brian Flanagan and his wife, Helen, of Massachusetts; sisters, Kathleen Flanagan Childs and her husband, Ozro, of California, Maureen F. Prencipe of Vermont, Julie F. Margolis of West Virginia, and Elaine F. Carr and her husband, Jeff, of Vermont. She is also survived by her mother-in-law, Philippa Merchand of Rutland, Vermont; and Joe’s siblings, Anthony J. Merchand of Vermont, Philippa M. Biggi and her husband, Thomas, of Colorado, and Mary M. Oster and her husband, Kelly, of Washington; and by her many admiring nieces and nephews, extended family; and dear friends, including childhood friends, Diane Ballou Hurhula, Mary Flynn and Kathy O'Neill Carrara. She was predeceased by her father, Richard J. Flanagan, and her father-in-law, Joseph E. Merchand, both of Rutland, Vermont; and Julie’s late husband, Jay. A native of Rutland, Vermont, Monica attended Christ the King School and Mount St. Joseph Academy. She studied art at Castleton State College and the University of Vermont under Vermont artists Sabra Field and Warren Kimble, and also honed her love of photography with her keen eye for photo composition. In 1975, she married her high school sweetheart, Joe, moving to Georgia, Vermont, where the children were born. In 1987, Joe left teaching at Missisquoi Valley Union High School to take a position with the U.S. Immigration Service in Montreal. Monica enjoyed the city and facilitating her children’s many activities, especially hockey. She was an avid member of a fitness center. As a certified instructor, she eagerly led spinning classes and also competed in Masters Swimming. Joe’s subsequent rotation to the border brought them to Rouses Point, New York, where Monica was employed at the offices of the Rouses Point Village, State’s Attorney’s Office and most recently, at the North Country Teacher Resource Center SUNY Plattsburgh. Monica enjoyed zumba, fitness classes and ran 5Ks, even enduring a grueling race through mud and obstacles, laughing the whole way, and earning every one of her many ribbons and trophies! She also joined a local yoga group, forming strong and loving friendships in the community. Spending time with her family and dear friends was Monica’s greatest joy. She was proud of her children and four grandsons and their many accomplishments. She and Joe enjoyed their visits with Dan and family, sharing holidays and endless laughs with the boys, and cheering them on in their hockey and soccer games. They shared visits and holidays with Leah and family frequently, caring for the grandchildren as infants and toddlers. Monica achieved her goal to hold her youngest grandson, just born in October 2020. She was a lifelong avid Red Sox and NE Patriots fan and loved her outings to Fenway Park. She also treasured her frequent getaways to Rutland to visit her parents and sneak in a Gill’s grinder. She cherished her travels out west, to Ireland, and vacations in Maine. Monica lived with a generous, warm heart and a quick, infectious sense of humor. She was gifted at finding something amusing in nearly any situation. She lifted the spirits of those around her with her contagious laugh, lighting up the room wherever she went. Monica faced her cancer diagnosis from day one with hope, strength, and determination. Her courage and grace shone through to the moment of her passing, inspiring all who knew her. Whatever Monica did, she did with great joy and panache! Monica and family are grateful to her medical team in Burlington and Plattsburgh at the UVM Medical Center; in Boston at the Dana Farber Cancer Center; and Hospice of the North Country. The family extends special thanks to dear friends, Donna Wilson Gadue and Jane Nemec; to the many family and friends who sent food and flowers; to her hospice nurses and home health aides for their loving end of life care; and to all those who supported her. Monica drew great strength from messages sent online through #fortheloveofMo, with her in spirit throughout her journey. The family has deep gratitude for “Team Monica!” In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to: Hospice of the North Country, 358 Tom Miller Road, Plattsburgh, NY 12901; The University of Vermont Cancer Center, The Courtyard at Given 3rd Floor North, 89 Beaumont Ave., Burlington, VT 05405. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, services will be held privately for the family. A summer celebration of life memorial will be announced at a later date. Condolences may be sent to the family at: #fortheloveofMo, or www.rwwalkerfh.com. Arrangements have been entrusted to the R.W. Walker Funeral Home, 69 Court St., Plattsburgh, New York.