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Jim Zitto posted a condolence
Monday, March 9, 2020Mel was a blunt one of a kind guy, always with something to say about everything. He was in the Army when I was in and we exchanged some stories. I met him at auctions and had him repair my rider and bought some parts from him. You always had a laugh with him at his shop. He was rather clever about fixing things and was always helpful with advise on how to fix things. Even though he was sick he still wanted to go to auctions when I stopped to see him about three weeks ago. Sitting in his lounge chair waiting for hospice to come see him. He would visit the Vineland Flea market Sundays and we would chat when we saw each other. I will miss the laughter, advice on how to repair things and his knowledge and expertise when I could not fix things. RIP Mel.
Deanna Santos uploaded photo(s)
Saturday, March 7, 2020
Deanna Santos posted a condolence
Saturday, March 7, 2020I am Deanna Santos, daughter of Frank Santos Sr, who is the nephew of Uncle Mel. My dad and Uncle Mel shared a special bond, a bond that I was lucky enough to witness and be a part of. Uncle Mel was our New Jersey guy - the real deal- THE MAN! So cool, strong, witty, loyal, smart and the best Uncle anyone could ask for. We’ve never met anyone who could hit 9 out of 10 horse races! Just like that-he made his picks and hit almost every race! Everyone tried to match his bets to mimic his LUCK and win! After winning, he turned around and handed the money to family to help pay for his sisters services. That’s the kind of guy he was. Unselfish and giving without a thought. He was always cracking jokes and talking mess to you for fun. He shared stories of our family that we would never know unless he told us. I always listened closely so I wouldn’t miss a thing. He was the KEY that allowed us to learn about family members who passed well before our time. During his last trips to CA, we got to spend quality time with Uncle Mel. I recall a conversation we were having, Uncle Mel, my dad, my brother Frankie and I, and Mel was in story telling mode....I could feel in the pit of my stomach this was one of those “moments” I’d remember forever. I had tears in my eyes-as did both my dad and brother. I wished I had recorded some of the conversation to save, because it was that special. For ALL these memories and moments in life, we are so thankful! We love you Uncle Mel and we’re going to miss you immensely! God bless you always until we meet again. RIP bub!
Frank Santos posted a condolence
Friday, March 6, 2020I am Frank Santos III. My Dad Frank and Uncle Mel had a special bond that stood the test of time and in spite of the distance from New Jersey to California Mel was very close to our family. He was one of the most genuine, authentic men I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. He lived life in the way that we all should, in the moment. In this day of people being increasingly afraid to speak their mind for fear of what will be said, or how they will be perceived, Mel was fearless! He was a kind man, but a man who would not mince words, or shy away from speaking his mind. Things that in today's over filtered, censored, PC world, are sometimes misconstrued as harsh, or rude or even inappropriate. For me, it was Mel being a man----THE MAN! He was one of a kind and I will miss him dearly. The trips he made to California and the times we shared at my parents home, out at the track, or just chilling having a few choice beverages, he knew how to lighten the mood and had a story for almost every occasion. One of my favorite stories of my Uncle Mel was when he come into town for my Grandma Anna's funeral. As my father already mentioned, he was a rock in the storm of that very sad time. One night we went to a bar where he challenged a " regular" to a game of pool. The bar was very rough and full of men who looked like they just got paroled. Mel was about to lose the game of pool to the local who happened to wearing an eye patch over one of his eyes. As he was about to hit the 8 ball shot uncle Mel said, " don't miss you one eyed B----! The guy missed the shot! We thought we were in for a fist fight for sure, until the guy who missed the shot after pausing for 20 seconds moved the eye patch from his covered eye to reveal he was not impaired and in fact could see through the eye patch. Mel knew he was a hustler and afterwards ran the table and won the game! This I believe encompasses who Uncle Mel was. He had guts, humor and a 6th sense that made him truly special. Rest In Peace Uncle! Frank Santos III
Frank Santos posted a condolence
Friday, March 6, 2020Mel was the best! He saved me emotionally when my mom, his sister died in an accident here in California. He was an original one of a kind man! Everyone here he met when he'd visit would love his one liners or his Jersey phrases. He was kind and caring and straight talking. He said what most people wished they could say. He'd tell it like he saw it. I loved his calls to give me tips on the big 3 horse races! Especially the Kentucky Derby. My friends would say "call your uncle Mel for his picks" He was good at handicapping. Since I left Camden New Jersey as a kid, he'd tell me the stories of when he was young growing up with our family. Fishing and crabbing at Dividing Creek. Playing pinball at the corner malt shop on Fern street. He's the only one who actually knew my father who died when I was only 2 years old. I always looked forward to calling him and asking about New Jersey news and weather I saw on TV. We got " Half Tuned" (drunk) as he'd say at the Indian casino last time he came to San Jose. I loved his answering machine message! "MEL" in his deep voice. I miss him already! You're up there with the family now uncle Mel. Frank Santos
Robert Spina posted a condolence
Friday, March 6, 2020Condolences from the Spina Family Camillo V.Spina and Robert L. Spina
The family of Melvyn C. Clifford uploaded a photo
Thursday, March 5, 2020