Tony Mello, 68, passed away suddenly on March 19, 2021 at home surrounded by his family. He was born September 11, 1952 in the town of Flamengos of Faial, Azores, the only son of Jose Silveira Melo and Maria Filomena Duarte Melo. Tony was the youngest with three older sisters Aldina, Luisa, and Connie. Tony attended school and started working for a dairy with his father at the young age of eight. Tony immigrated to the U.S. with his parents and sister at the age of 17 and settled in Hilmar. From his early youth he enjoyed working on dairy farms and playing soccer for the Portuguese leagues as a goal keeper.
Tony met his wife, Helen, in 1973 at the Turlock Portuguese Festa. Lucky for him, Helen's brothers were playing in a band at the festas or their paths would have never crossed. They were engaged shortly after and married in 1975 where they settled in Galt to start their family. They had three sons Kevin, Jeremy and Lester. Tony ventured out and started his own diary in 1989 with the help of his wife and young family. Through sacrifice and hard work (and the loyalty of a few good friends), Tony was able to expand to their second dairy in 2000.
Tony's passion was his family and dairy business. He was a hard working man with a heart like no other. His family meant the world to him and he took pride in everything he did. Tony instilled these traits in his three sons and passed down his large calloused hands. Tony enjoyed deep sea fishing and any reason to gather with good company and good food. He was a devoted husband for almost 46 years, father, and grandfather. Although his life revolved around the dairy, he would take the time to enjoy his grandchildren. He was so proud of each grandson and enjoyed teaching them the benefit of hard work. When his granddaughter came, we saw a softer side of him. He called her his princess and would often play with her on their living room floor.
Tony was preceded in death by his parents, Jose and Maria Melo, nephew David Sousa, and niece Diana Sousa. He leaves behind his loving wife, Helen (Rocha) Mello; Sons Kevin (Lisa) Mello, Jeremy Mello, and Lester (Nina) Mello; Grandchildren Dylan (19), Lucas (15), Andrew (11), and Charlotte (1.8). He will be dearly missed not only by his family but by his many loyal friends.
Friends and family may pay their respect at a viewing held at the Lodi Funeral Home 725 S Fairmont Ave, Lodi, Ca from 12:00 to 4:00 PM on Monday March 29, 2021. A private Rosary and Catholic Mass will be held at St. Christopher’s in Galt, Ca on Tuesday, March 30, 2021. The Mass is limited to close family due to current health guidelines. Tony will be laid to rest at the Cherokee Memorial Park 14165 N. Beckman Road in Lodi following the Mass. The family welcomes all who wish to attend the burial to join them at the park at an approximate time of 12:30 PM.