Edward C. Mello, 72, Was Veteran, Educator

Edward C. Mello died on Saturday, May 25. Mr. Mello was born on Sept. 28, 1929, on William street in Vineyard Haven. He was the son of Agnes C. and Gabriel P. Mello. His early education, kindergarten through seventh grade, was at the Tisbury School.

When the family moved to Fall River, he completed his secondary education at B.M.C. Durfee High School in 1947. Upon graduation from high school he joined the U.S. Navy, training initially at Great Lakes Naval Training Center outside Chicago. His first assignment was to the Naval Air Technical Training Center in Memphis, Tenn. He was honorably discharged in 1950.

Shortly after his discharge, he was called back to active duty and assigned to the admiral's staff at Com One in Boston. It was while working there that he received a recommendation to attend the Naval Aviation Cadet Program. Mr. Mello's priority at the time was his education, so he declined the opportunity to attend.

Mr. Mello's advanced education included course work from Harvard University; he completed his degree at Emerson College in Boston. After receiving his B.S. degree, his first challenge was teaching high school English in Pensacola, Fla. The following year he taught at Nolan Catholic High School in Fort Worth, Tex. He excelled as an English teacher and as coach of the debate team. He led the debate team to a top finish in the annual Texas Debate Tournament at North Texas State University.

The following fall, he was offered a teaching fellowship to North Texas State University, where he received his M.S. degree in public address. Mr. Mello spent the next four years teaching at the State University of New York at New Paltz. During his last year there, Mr. Mello married and moved to Stratford, Conn. While living in Stratford, he taught at the University of Bridgeport. He spent summers with his wife traveling and enjoying time at their summer home on Block Island, R.I.

In later years, Mr. Mello returned to New York to teach and eventually retired as a full professor in 1991. After his retirement, Mr. Mello was reluctant to enjoy the pleasures of Island winters, so he wintered at his home in Naples, Fla., but always returned to the Island in the summer.

Mr. Mello was a member of the American Speech Association, the National Forensic League and the American Legion.

He is survived by his sister, Jean Flowers of Pensacola, Fla., brothers Richard Mello of Sutton, Vt., and Joseph Mello of Homer, Ark., as well as many nieces and nephews.

A graveside service was held on May 26 at the family lot in Oak Grove Cemetery in Vineyard Haven. Full military honors were offered by the Veterans of Martha's Vineyard. Arrangements were under the care of Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home.