Jerry J. Mele, a former science teacher at Pelham Memorial High School, passed away peacefully on Sunday, November 17, 2019. He was 94 years old.
He was born May 2, 1925 in lower Manhattan to Rosalie and Nicolas Mele. He was predeceased by his dear wife of sixty-nine years, Ann Marie, as well as his four sisters, Bina, Ann, Helen, and Marie, and one adoring brother, Bob.
In the days from his birth to his death, Jerry lived the fullest of lives that truly exemplified the “Greatest Generation”. He served his country aboard the submarine USS-Blackfin SS-322 in the Pacific theater from 1943-1946. His submarine and crew were awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for delivering critically needed supplies in an effort to liberate the Philippine Islands.
He attended Iona College on the G.I. Bill, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree. Upon graduation, he found his lifelong vocation as a teacher in the Yonkers school system.
While attending Hunter College for his Master’s in Education, he accepted a position in the Science Department of Pelham Memorial High School. It was at Pelham Memorial that his greatest impact was felt. Jerry was a mentor, a coach, and a guiding light in encouraging his students to accomplish more than they ever thought possible.
Up to his last days, he would receive calls and letters from former students thanking him for all his encouragement during their school years. Some would say that they would not be who they are today if it was not for him.
Jerry is survived by his son Richard (Patricia) and daughter Allison (Thomas); “Pop” was a devoted grandfather to Patrick Mele and Mary-Kate Smitherman (Christopher), and great-grandson, Charles Richard. He was loved by many nieces, nephews and dear friends.
To honor his life, family and friends will gather to pay their respects 2 pm to 4 pm and 6pm to 8 pm Wednesday, November 20 at Leo P. Gallagher & Son Funeral Home, 31 Arch Street, Greenwich, Connecticut. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 178 Greenwich Ave., Greenwich, Connecticut at 10 am on Thursday, November 21. Interment will follow at St. Mary’s Putnam Cemetery in Greenwich.