John Leonard Meluso, Sr. was born to Pasquale Meluso of San Giovanni in Fiore, Calabria, Italy, & Catherine Midonna DiMarco Meluso of Albidona, Calabria, Italy, in Chicago, Illinois on August 26, 1922. He grew up in a large Italian Family, where food & fun prevailed. He never met a brother Pete who died in childhood, but he loved his brothers, Pete the Second, Sam, Joe, and sisters, Phyllis, Angie, Margaret, & Rosemary. Margaret DiMarco Mauro of Salinas survives.
John Sr. served briefly in the US Army during World War II, where he learned to love Big Band Music and dancing. He moved to California with his first wife Diana Brant, from Chicago. They raised three children, John Meluso, Jr., Donna Meluso Ray & Ronald James Meluso. An accomplished Toastmaster, world-class salesman for Sears, Roebuck and Company, he traveled extensively, throughout Europe late in life. He loved Paris and Italy with its food and Michelangelo’s works of art. He left a living legacy in Europe, planting trees for his loved ones to remember him there, and with the laughter from his jokes still ringing in their ears. He danced and loved God, his friends and family and lived his life as fully as anyone you will ever meet. While at home and traveling, he took professional quality photographs as a hobby. He loved music, ballroom dancing, playing cards, animals & children. He loved LOVE & the Magic of Christmas. When asked his age, he preferred “Jack Benny’s 39.” It may have been his key to youth. His faith in God, his family & friends were his true treasure. His last meal was a Eucharist from the Carmelite Monastery, Carmel, CA.
John married five times, with wives, Diana, Carol and Robbi surviving as well as children, John Meluso Jr., Donna Meluso Ray, Ronald James Meluso, nieces Kay DiMarco Romero, Marie Mauro Viarengo, Lois Mauro Pratt, Frances Lioi Pellett, Patti Stone & Dorothy Muscari and nephews, Paul Marazzo & Leonard Lioi.
Even after a severe car accident that placed him in a wheelchair on September 27, 2004, John L. Meluso Sr. remained The Most Positive, Loving, Friendly Person World Record Holder forever, as he passed peacefully with his hand in John Jr.’s in his home in Carmel. He went to be home with Our Lord & his beloved family on January 21, 2006.
His body has been cremated and the remains shall be scattered on the ocean, in view of the beach where he loved to walk and enjoy the otters. A loving tribute is planned on February 20, 2006 with a Memorial Mass at the Carmel Mission on Rio Road, at 2 pm. A potluck feast in the Mission Parish Hall, will follow with everyone invited. At 5 pm, a Eulogy by John Meluso, Jr. with his dad’s music, his photos and videos reminding us of this wonderful man will be offered.
For more details of his life and this loving tribute please go to http://www.partingwishes.com/memorials/Meluso , http://www.meluso.com/Dad.htm . A non-profit foundation, Meluso for Monterey Jazz, to take care of his final arrangements and to honor his memory and support his love of music in Monterey, is preferred to flowers, and tax deductible receipts will be provided for your generosity.