Christopher D. Mello

Christopher D. Mello
American Flight 11

Cartoons at Conference Calls

Christopher D. Mello was handsome. (He had "a kinetic smile," said his father, Douglas Mello.) He was athletic. (He led his high school football team to the New York State finals.) He was polite. (He wrote a thank- you note to his interviewer after getting into Princeton.)

At 180 pounds, he was too slender even for Ivy League football, so he turned to rugby at Princeton. In Boston, where he worked as an analyst for Alta Communications, he took up boxing.

But Mr. Mello was also a poet, a film buff and an artist. "If there was one thing Chris would have wanted to do, it was be a cartoonist," said his girlfriend, Kristy Walsh. An aficionado of "Garfield" and "Calvin and Hobbes," Mr. Mello created his own cartoon characters and would doodle during pauses in his countless conference calls.

A father and a girlfriend see a man through different lenses, but both agreed that Mr. Mello was exceedingly loyal to friends. Ms. Walsh recalled the day she and Mr. Mello drove four hours to see her sister perform a three-minute dance piece. Two thousand people came to the wake after he died on Flight 11. He was 25.

After Sept. 11, Ms. Walsh learned that Mr. Mello had saved a valentine she sent him in fifth grade.

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 13, 2001.

Christopher D. Mello, 25, of Boston, Massachusetts, formerly of Rye, New York, a victim of the American Airlines Flight 11 catastrophe, died on Tuesday, September 11, 2001.

Chris was born on June 22, 1976 in Greenwich, Connecticut, to Douglas and Ellen Mello. He was an outstanding student and athlete at Rye High School, graduating in 1994. He was loved by students, teachers and coaches, alike. Chris was vice president of the senior class and a member of the National Honor Society, maintaining an academic average of 93.84. Chris received the University of Michigan Book Award for Academic Excellence and received a Magna Cum Laude grade on the 1993 National Latin Exam. An active participant in varsity sports, Chris was a member of the varsity football team and served as a co-captain in 1993. The team went on to the New York State finals, where Chris was voted the most valuable defensive player of the tournament. He was also presented with the Golden Dozen Scholar Athletic Award for both his on-field and academic achievements. He was also a member of the varsity basketball and baseball teams and was voted Con-Edison’s athlete of the week in 1993. While at Rye High School, Chris was a model United Nations representative, student leader of the Core Group, a member of Student’s Against Drunk Driving, the Principal’s Student Union Advisory Board, Class Yearbook, Student Council, and the Sportsmanship Committee. He performed more than 200 hours of community service.

Chris graduated from Princeton University in 1998, where he majored in Psychology and was vice president of the Cottage Club, and a member of the men’s Rugby Club, Kappa Alpha Order fraternity, and the 21 Club.

Chris, who enjoyed playing golf with his family, was a member of the Apawamis Country Club in Rye, New York, and the Rye YMCA.

He worked as a financial analyst at BT Alex Brown in Baltimore, Maryland, before moving to Boston, Massachusetts, where he worked as an analyst for Alta Communications.

In addition to his parents, Douglas and Ellen Mello of Rye, Chris is survived by his brother, John Douglas Mello, also a graduate of Princeton University and avid athlete. J.D. resides in Manhattan, New York. Chris is also survived by his paternal grandmother, Alice Mello of Barefoot Bay, Florida.

Visiting hours are scheduled for Sunday, September 16, 2001, 2-4 and 7-9 p.m., at Graham Funeral Home, 1036 Boston Post Road, Rye. Memorial services are scheduled for Monday, September 17, 11 a.m., at Resurrection Church, 910 Boston Post Road, Rye.

In lieu of flowers, the family would like donations made in Chris’ memory to the Rye YMCA at 21 Locust Street, Rye, NY 10580.

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