THOMAS E., JR. died Tuesday morning, January 15, 2013, at his Doylestown home with his four sons and his wife around him. He had bravely endured eight years of treatment for pancreatic cancer, during which family, friends and loyal colleagues sustained him both personally and professionally.
The son of Thomas E. Mellon Sr. and the late Honor McCormick Mellon, Thomas is survived by his wife and law partner, Sara M. Webster, and his sons: Thomas III, Christopher, Ryan (Lauren), Henry and by his granddaughter, Julia Marie Mellon. He is also survived by his brothers: Edward (Hongcheng Zhou), Robert (Deborah Romanski); aunts, Joan Hunter and Mariann McCormick; nephews and nieces Eddie, Sean, Peipei, Elizabeth, Lauren and Eric and his former wife, Marilyn Mellon.
Thomas's zest for life, generosity and abiding loyalty to his loved ones and colleagues defined him as a person. He lived life abundantly and on his own terms.
Thomas was graduated from St. Joseph's University and Georgetown University Law Center and received his Masters from Harvard Law School. In 2012 he earned a Master of Bioethics from the University of Pennsylvania. He established the Doylestown law firm now known as Mellon & Webster in 1982.
After clerking for the Honorable William H. Hastie, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Thomas spent seven years in the United States Attorney's Office where he served as chief of both the Narcotics Unit and the Criminal Division. Thomas prosecuted the first endangered species case, which laid the foundation for today's environmental law enforcement.
Through his focus on personal injury and complex commercial litigation, Thomas joined the fight against, most notably, American tobacco companies. He represented the widows and families of 9/11 victims and created the national consortium of attorneys who filed suit against Iran/al-Qa'eda.
His cases have been the subjects of several books, and he served as a television news commentator for the O.J. Simpson trial and as a subject matter expert for a wide range of articles and reports on legal issues.
Thomas was a leader in the trial bar, politics and the community. He was past president of the Bucks County Bar Association and served as president of the Bucks County Legal Aid Society. He served as chair of the Democratic Party of Bucks County, member of the Pennsylvania Democratic Committee and one of the political directors of the Clinton-Gore campaign in Pennsylvania.
Thomas arranged for the first group of American lawyers to visit Havana, Cuba, in 1999. He served on the Board of Directors of the Bucks Mont Katrina Relief Project, which has raised millions of dollars for the victims of Hurricane Katrina in Hancock County, Mississippi. He led more than one hundred attorneys and others on multiple trips to Hancock County to clean up the devastation, rebuild homes and assist in the construction of new community buildings such as the food pantry and animal center.
Relatives and friends are invited to Thomas's funeral service, 10 A.M., Saturday, January 19, 2013, at Trinity Episcopal Church Solebury, 6587 Upper York Road, Solebury, where the public may call from 9 A.M., prior to the service or Friday evening from 6 to 8 P.M. at REED AND STEINBACH FUNERAL HOME, 2335 Lower State Road, Doylestown. Interment will follow the service Saturday in Doylestown Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: Thomas E. Mellon, Jr. Scholarship Fund, c/o Bucks County Bar Association, 135 East State Street, Doylestown, PA 18901 or to: Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, 3451 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (www.afcri.upenn.edu).
Published on Philly.com on Jan. 17, 2013