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Edward James Mellett

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Mellett, Edward James

Edward James Mellett, age 93. Born April 4, 1919 in Brooklyn, NY. Died March 7, 2013 at home with his family in St. Paul, MN. The youngest of 11 children born to Irish immigrants, Catherine (Collins) and John Mellett. Raised on the upper floor of a tenement with one bathroom shared by four families, tub baths in the kitchen, one pair of clothes and shoes and an orange for Christmas. He never considered himself poor as neighbors and classmates shared those conditions. In his youth, Edward was known to skip school and go to the NYC Public Library. He was a loyal Dodger's baseball fan. Served our country four years, defending its freedoms as a Corporal Marine during WWII in the Asian Pacific Theatre on Peleliu and Okinawa. He was awarded a Good Conduct Medal and a Purple Heart. His commitment to working for the NYC Fire Dept. for twenty years and rising to the rank of Deputy Chief reflected love for the job and appreciation for 'The Brotherhood'. In retirement his intellectual curiosity was able to be nurtured. He earned an AA from Rockland Community College, BS from St. Thomas Aquinas College and MS in Library Science from Columbia University NY. Served as a research librarian for Dominican College and volunteered reading books on tape for the blind. Preceded in death by wife, Dorothy (Wettemann). He admired her artistic abilities, gardening skills and extroverted nature. They were married for 52 years, lived in Blauvelt NY and loved to travel abroad to almost every continent. Edward planned their trips related to historic and cultural interests. His life was marked by a strong sense of duty to faith, family and country, self-sacrifice and hard work. Edward's Depression Era frugality, discipline and responsible nature gifted his family with stability. His frugality was balanced with generosity towards others especially the catholic church. While demanding much of himself, his deep sense of integrity was non-judgmental, forgiving and compassionate towards others, especially the underdog. He loved to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with extended family by cooking corn beef, cabbage, serving Irish soda bread and Bailey's Irish Cream. Christmas Eve began with Dad reading from the bible, the Birth of Jesus, sharing the gift of cards received, all of us together on the sofa with the Nutcracker playing in the background. New Year's Eve was celebrated with pots and pans, herring and a Shirley Temple while watching The Ball fall from Times Square. Four years ago Edward moved to MN and enjoyed his retirement in earnest. He was a self-effacing, gentleman whose optimism, gratitude for simple pleasures and acts of kindness touched people right up to the final hours of his life. He 'competed well, finished the race and kept the faith' 2 Timothy 4:7. May he be rewarded with a bottomless glass of Chablis, a cigar that can't be extinguished and a heavenly choir well versed in Count Basie. Survived by daughter Anne and grandsons, Joseph, John-Paul "John" and Gabriel Brandrud. Edward would want his gratitude expressed to those he "prized and valued".

His community on east coast, life long friends, the Mcardles, Weirs, Zimmers and his family whose love and kindness spanned many decades including the Gradilones, the musical trio and specially Betty & Henry Braun, their four sons, Tim, Chip (Essie), Tom (Dorita), Chris (Karen) and daughter, Barbara (Ron) Delo and loved ones on the farm in CT.

Funeral Mass Mon. 3/18 @ 10:30 AM at Nativity Church. Family respectfully requests no flowers. Private burial Fort Snelling. Semper Fidelis.

Published in the The Journal News on Mar. 17, 2013
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