Michael Mele, 105, of Hamden passed away Saturday, October 8, 2011. He was the husband for 38 years of the late Carmel Ghirardini Mele and the father of Michael R. Mele of North Haven, and Robert L. Mele of New Haven.
Born in New Haven in 1906, son of the late Alfonso Mele and Rosalina Proto Mele, he leaves a sister, Fay Barile, of New Haven and was predeceased by sisters Carmel Mele, Anna Rinaldi, and brothers Gabriel, John, and Anthony Mele and Leo De Paul. He was uncle (“Ozi Mike”) to several nieces and nephews, and grand and great-grand – nieces and nephews, and brother-in-law to many.
Michael was a gifted vocalist, devoted parishioner, army veteran and professional dental and research technician. After high school he studied voice and became an accomplished tenor, singing in productions of ‘The Barber of Seville’ and ‘Pagliacci,’ and won a lead role in the movie musical ‘Down Argentine Way.’ He also acted in several New York productions including ‘An American Comedy’ and ‘The Family Portrait.’ He later directed glee clubs, choirs and sang as a soloist at St. Ann’s, St. Rose’s, St. Brendan’s and St. Donato’s. As a very active 58 year parishioner of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Hamden, he served as a Eucharistic minister, altar server, lector, and designed the outdoor Marian shrine. His devotion to his faith and church was recognized when then Archbishop Daniel Cronin awarded him the prestigious Saint Joseph Award - the Archdiocesan Medal of Appreciation for outstanding parishioner.
At age 77 Michael found a passion for horseback riding, which lasted for 22 years. That included 10 years of summers riding in the mountains of northwest Wyoming. Until the age of 102 he drove, maintained his own home, attended daily Mass, and worked out at the gym. He also completed 26 years as a fourth grade religious education teacher.
His funeral procession will leave the North Haven Funeral Home, 36 Washington Avenue, Wednesday morning at 9:30. A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10:00 am in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 2819 Whitney Ave., Hamden. Interment will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Whitney Ave., Mt. Carmel. The visiting hours will be Tuesday from 5 to 8 pm.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Sister Anne Virginie Grimes Health Center, 1354 Chapel St., New Haven, CT 06511.
Courtesy North Haven Funeral Home
Michael Celotto age 67 of North Haven, husband of Barbara Soroka Celotto, died suddenly October 5, 2011. Son of the late Angelina Colavolpe Celotto and Anthony J. Celotto.
Mr. Celotto served in the U.S. Marine Corp and was a Vietnam Veteran. He retired after 30 years at the Southern CT Gas Co. where he was a Customer Service Supervisor. He was a member of the Marine Corps League of CT and the American Legion-Murray/Reynolds Post #76. He had been a blood donor for over 45 years.
He is survived by his daughter Jennifer LaLuna and her husband Anthony J. LaLuna of North Haven; his son Michael A. Celotto and his wife Kendra Celotto of Fenton, MI. A devoted grandfather to Stephen and Marissa LaLuna, Matthew and Emma Celotto. Also survived by his brother Anthony B. Celotto and his wife Linda; several nieces, nephews, cousins and many friends. He had great pride and love for his Marine Corps and the Flag of the United States.
Should friends desire memorial contributions may be made to the American Red Cross, 703 Whitney Ave., New Haven, CT 06511.
Courtesy North Haven Funeral Home