On Jan. 21, 2016, Dorothy Mello died as she had lived, with extraordinary strength, dignity, and family by her side. Dorothy was born in 1925, and was the only child of Julia and John Simas. She was born in New Bedford, and lived in the house she and her husband Joe (Chippy) Mello built in Padanaram Village, Dartmouth, after they married in 1947. She spent the past three years of her life on Martha’s Vineyard with family. Dorothy was 90 years old, but she liked to tell you she was 50.
Dorothy and her husband Joe owned Chippy’s Restaurant in New Bedford. They traveled regularly, and spent winters in Marathon, Fla., and summers on their boat in Menemsha. Whenever possible they were on the water fishing. She was an expert kale soup cook and sweet bread baker. She knitted amazing sweaters, and always made Christmas magical. She enjoyed bingo, but those closest to her knew her as a ruthless card shark. She was a reliable community member and good friend, but above all she was our strong-willed, unwavering, and loving Vavo.
Dorothy is the mother of two surviving children, Joe Mello Jr. of Dartmouth and his wife Susan Mello, Teri Mello of West Tisbury and her husband Sean Conley, and four grandchildren, Kaitlyn Mello, Joey Mello, Emma Conley, and Max Conley. She was predeceased by her husband Joe (Chippy) Mello, and by a daughter, Judy Mello, and a son, Peter Mello, who died as young adults. Dorothy lived life with great clarity. Always rising above hardship, she worked hard, made thoughtful choices, and did the things she wanted, in the manner she wanted to do them. She was an independent, indomitable woman.
The life of Dorothy Mello will be remembered and celebrated by her children and their families. In her memory, find a room filled with sunlight, enjoy a hot bowl of Portuguese kale soup, and take a moment to think of your family and friends with great love. She would like that.