Theresa Melillo (1922 - 2019)

  • "We are standing by your side in our prayers every night...."
    - Linda & Raymond Russo
  • "Angie, Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Dennis..."
  • "In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you..."
  • "Rest in Peace"
    - Mary Crist
  • "Fly to the Angels Zi, fly...they have been waiting and..."
    - Denise, Joseph and Matthew Palazzo

Theresa Palazzo Melillo
January 6, 1922 - January 3, 2019
Theresa Melillo, beloved wife, mother, sister, grandmother, aunt and friend passed away suddenly with family by her side. She was three days shy of her 97th birthday. She will always be remembered for her welcoming kitchen full of love and great food. She was a mentor, a storyteller, a teacher, but most importantly a giving and loving person.
Born in San Sosti, Cosenza Province, Italy, she lived the first 13 years of her life. She immigrated to Los Banos, California in 1935 with her mother, grandmother, and younger brother, Frank.
While her father worked for Miller and Lux Farming Company, Theresa worked side –by-side with her Uncle John and Aunt Louisa Bisignani to provide meals three times daily for forty working men farming The Delta Ranch. At the end of her working day, she'd continue at home taking care of her parents, brothers and grandmother, cooking, cleaning, and running the household, and making a warm home for everybody. This she carried through her entire life, caring for the next generations to come.
She approached a shy accordion player, Tony Melillo, to ask him to give lessons to her younger brother, Frank. Their relationship blossomed, and they shared seventy years of happiness. She and Tony worked together to build the modern day Palazzo Farming Company, which ultimately became the family business with her brother Pat. In 1947, they welcomed their daughter Angie who they cherished.
She was devoted to her patron saints and protectors, La Madonna del Pettoruto and Madonna del Carmine. She was a lifelong member of the Italian Catholic Federation in both Gustine and Los Banos.
She and Tony returned to her native Italy several times, as well as traveling the world. She enjoyed a good joke and the occasional visit to the one-armed bandit.
She was preceded in Death by her husband Tony, parents Ralph and Virigna Palazzo, brother, Frank Palazzo, and nephews Ralph and James Palazzo.
She is survived by daughter Angie Gerber, Palm Desert, CA grandsons Dean Lavine, Palm Springs, CA and Matt Lavine (Amber), Sausalito, CA, and brother Pat Palazzo (Lida), Los Banos, CA, adoring nieces and nephews, and many many friends.
Please contact Whitehurst Funeral Chapel for service details.

Funeral Home
Whitehurst Funeral Chapels Inc
1840 S Center Ave
Los Banos, CA 93635
(209) 826-4242
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Published in the Modesto Bee from Jan. 6 to Jan. 11, 2019