Obituary of Katherine Mello
Katherine Ann Poag Mello, born in Granite City, Illinois on May 20, 1937, died peacefully in her home on October 27, 2018, after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.
Kathy was known for her huge heart, and her generosity of spirit. She was fiercely independent, kind, loving and non-judgmental, and very accepting. She had a beautiful, resplendent smile and a joyful laugh. She was a seeker and a lifetime learner, always seeking greater wisdom, insight, and understanding. Simply put, she was one of the good ones.
She met her husband, Abel Mello, while she was working at the Eddy Farm in Sparrow Bush, New York with her friends Lynne Fallon and Eleanor Lucy. The story goes that Abel was about to tee off at the golf course, and as he was taking a swing, she yelled, "Fore!" which made him miss the ball, and, needless to say, got his attention. They married in 1958 and together raised seven children. Over the course of their 52-year marriage, they built a life of love wholly devoted to their children, their 15 grandchildren, their community of friends, and each other.
Kathy was a master baker and cook. She was renowned for her legendary Thanksgiving dinners and for her delicious and beautifully made Christmas cookies, of which she baked hundreds of dozens for family and friends, every year, for decades. She created life, love, and community by sharing delicious and nourishing food.
She got great joy from quilting. She made hundreds of quilts, including wedding quilts to celebrate her children's marriages, baby quilts to welcome a cherished grandchild to the family, and graduation quilts to mark the importance of education to her family. She had a great eye for color and pattern, and shared her joy of quilting with anyone who asked, teaching them techniques and generously distributing fabric out of her large collection.
Once her youngest child was in nursery school, Kathy began working outside of the home, initially teaching nursery school, and then, after pursuing secretarial training, worked until retirement as an administrative assistant at St. Agnes Hospital and Greenwich Hospital.
In 2007, Kathy and Abel moved to Sun City Center, Florida, where Kathy's dear sister, Mary, lived. Kathy and Mary quickly became known among their friends as "The Q-Tips", in reference to their matching heads of beautiful silver hair. Mary was a great source of support to Kathy when Parkinson's disease took its toll on Abel, who passed away in 2011. The sisters created a circle of loving friends who shared fun times, and took care of each other and their families.
Kathy is survived by her sister Mary, her brother James, his wife Juliane, and their children and grandchildren; her seven beloved children: Kim (Peter) Scudera, Carolyn Mello, James (Maureen Curtin) Mello, Peter (Eileen) Mello, Kathleen (Mark) Powell, Susan (Gordon Waite) Mello, and Peggy (Javier Portocarrero) Mello; her grandchildren and their spouses, including Catie (Cole Stephenson) Scudera, Benjamin (Sarah) Scudera, Hannah (Daniel Chihak) Mello, Crystal Mello, Samuel Purucker, Riley Mello, Sean Mello, Colleen Mello, Kristen Mello, Joseph Mello, Elizabeth Powell, Kelly Powell, Jackson Powell, Daniel Portocarrero, and Vera Waite; and one great-granddaughter, Emily Scudera.
She is remembered with great love and respect by legions of friends, fellow quilters, neighbors and co-workers; and will be terribly missed.
A private memorial service will be held in Sun City Center, FL.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Friends of the Florida Orchestra, WEDU, or to LifePath Hospice.