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James Mello

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James Anthony Mello, Jim the Barber, 87, of Lynnfield, died Thursday, November 28, 2013 at the Mass General Hospital in Boston after a brief illness. He was the devoted husband of Virginia (Scalise) Mello. Jim was born in Peabody on November 19, 1926, the son of the late Christiano and Mary Mello and was educated and raised on Northend Street in Peabody before moving to Lynnfield 58 years ago. For 60 years, up until his illness three months ago, Jim was the proprietor and sole barber in Jims Barber Shop in Gardner Park, on Margin St., Peabody, around the corner from Northend Street where he grew up and where most of his siblings continued to live for many years. He loved working in his garden, cooking and baking his Christmas cookies to share with family and friends. For years he took his family to Sebago Lake, Maine, for summer vacations and, later, to the Loon Mountain area in New Hampshire. Jim had a warm, teasing sense of humor and a keen wit which his family and customers thoroughly enjoyed. The term family man epitomized Jim. He was defined by his devotion to family, from his parents and siblings, to his wife, to his many nieces and nephews, mostly in his relationship with his children and grandchildren whom he loved with all his heart. Jim gave haircuts to three generations of loyal customers, some of whom have been with him for over 50 years. In all of his years, he missed few days of cutting hair, so many of his customers have been waiting these last three months for him to return to the shop. His small, 50s-style shop, where he still offered $5 haircuts is an institution in Peabody. Since Jims illness, Jon Lapore, a customer since childhood, will be taking over the barber shop, keeping it open for Jims customers to continue in Jims tradition. Jons dream come true will keep up the legacy of Jims Barber Shop. Jim is survived by his wife, Virginia; two sons, John Jack and his wife Maria Mello of Boxford, and Richard Rick Mello and his long-time companion Kim Curtin of Haverhill; a daughter Mary Mello and her husband Alan Klein of Sharon, MA; a brother, Frank Mello of Port Richie, FL; and a sister, Helen Sawyer of Peabody; his cherished grandchildren, Sarah Mello of Savannah, GA, Andrew Mello of Philadelphia, PA and Cody, Benjamin and Jordan Mello-Klein all of Sharon, MA; and many nieces and nephews. He was the brother of the late Joseph Mello and Alice Silva of Peabody. A visitation will be held on Friday, Dec. 6, 2013 from 4:00 until 8:00 PM at the Conway, Cahill-Brodeur Funeral Home at the 82 Lynn St., Peabody facility. His Funeral will be held on Saturday at 10:00 AM from the Funeral Home followed by a Funeral Mass in Our Lady of Assumption church, Grove St., Lynnfield at 11:00 AM. Relatives and friends are kindly invited. Expressions of sympathy may be made to the Jimmy Fund, 10 Brookline Place West, 6th Floor, Brookline, MA 02445 in his memory. For guestbook and directions, visit www.ccbfuneral.com

Published in The Tri-Town Transcript from Dec. 3 to Dec. 10, 2013
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